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Second annual Resource Connections Expo Feb. 17 at armory

The Stevens County community is invited to the 2nd Annual Resource Connections Expo.

More than 50 non-profit agencies and volunteer organizations will be at the National Guard Armory in Morris on Thursday, Feb. 17, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Visitors can meet the people who work in the non-profit sector, inquire about how to access a service in a time of need, find a volunteer opportunity, or just spend an evening out with friends and family while getting to know your community resources.

A free dinner will be served for the duration of the event. On the menu is ham and scalloped potatoes or scalloped potatoes as a vegetarian option.

Public Health will provide free H1Nl flu vaccines. With all the door prizes and give-aways, no one will walk away empty handed.

Freewill offerings will also be accepted, with the funds used for next year's Expo.

The idea for the expo started with a red T-shirt. Worn by members of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC), these "It's a Volunteer Thing" T-shirts created a sensation at the first annual Unity Day event held at the Common Cup about a year ago. Upon learning that that the GFWC is the largest volunteer women's organization in the world and it could help other organizations, the ideas flew and excitement grew.

Some of the women began meeting and eventually invited Holly Witt, Bremer Bank's non-profit representative, to join them. She offered to host a meeting of representatives from all other non-profit organizations to figure out how to work together to define shared aspirations and found points of common action.

The idea for an expo was born and organizers invited all the non-profit organizations in the county. In the meantime, Community Conversations, a group brought together when the Otto Bremer Foundation Trustees, visited Morris. The group analyzed priorities for the Morris area. Realizing that the needs identified by this group were the same as those the Bremer brown bag group had been working on, the two groups merged and became Resource Connections.

The non-profit summit attracted more than 80 people sharing ideas, and deciding on priorities.

The Expo is intended to create a safe, connected, and caring community by showcasing and strengthening its local resources.