Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) recently recognized Naomi Miessler, Rachel Miessler and Steph Helkenn for the November 2018 “Making a Difference” Award. Together they spearheaded much of the volunteer organizing of the September 20th storm clean-up.
The Making a Difference award is given out monthly to community members or organizations that help make Northfield an even better place for young people.
During the storm, Rachel and Naomi Miessler had a tree fall on their car while they were in it. Both escaped the damaged vehicle only to arrive home and find their home damaged, too.
The Miesslers called Northfield Shares to report damage and request cleanup help for themselves and their neighbors. Then they took the next step and became the help so many people needed.
According to Mike Krance, Director of Northfield Shares, “Naomi and Rachel started to organize work and donations in their area, and then began helping Northfield Shares connect volunteers with cleanup efforts.”
Krance reported the Miesslers soon partnered with Steph Helkenn of Rejoice Lutheran Church. Steph was already organizing volunteers through Rejoice, which became a location for providing additional valuable organizing help.
Helkenn’s participation made it possible to continue coordinated efforts when the Miesslers left for a previously planned trip. Steph took over connecting volunteers with cleanup needs, including extensive cleanup at Northfield Cemetery.
“These women are volunteers extraordinaire,” noted Connie Nelson, HCI Board member. “In addition to these efforts, they have lots of experience volunteering in Northfield, and have worked extensively with youth projects.”
In presenting this award, HCI applauds Steph Helkenn, Naomi Miessler, Rachel Miessler, Northfield Shares and all the amazing community volunteers who worked to clean up the storm damage. They truly made a difference for Northfield!
By Kathy Sandberg
Kathy Sandberg is the communications contractor for the Healthy Community Initiative.