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Fridley, Minnesota – Where Superheroes Are Made
Fridley is a city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 27,208 at the 2010 census. Fridley was incorporated in 1949 as a village and became a city in 1957. It is part of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.  Fridley is a “first ring” or “inner ring” suburb in the northern part of the Twin Cities. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.89 square miles, of which 10.17 square miles is land and 0.72 square miles is water.  In 2006, while providing support for victims of Katrina in Mississippi, a group of individuals; volunteers with varied skills and a desire to offer support to victims of disasters like Katrina, heard about Ike, and like so many others across this great country, made a call to see how they could help. Fortunately for us, they connected with one Mark Davis who headed up Gleanings from the Harvest in Galveston. Ike had decimated the building in Galveston that Gleanings operated from and their mission,
“to serve the entire Galveston County area as the primary source of food distribution for hungry children, working poor families, the elderly and disabled” was at a virtual standstill.  Davis had found a building in Texas City that had the potential of serving as headquarters for Gleanings but it needed a great deal of work and amazingly, he had just gotten a call from a group known as St Philips Disaster Relief offering to help them rebuild and relocate. And so they did. They put up walls, installed bathrooms, and painted the almost 12000 SF building a beautiful yellow to symbolize the wheat stalks that represented Gleanings and their work.  Fast forward twelve years. Gleanings is now Galveston County Food Bank with a new Director, Richard Nye, who just welcomed back seven of the individuals who helped to
prepare the building GCFB now operates out of and who have returned with 500 pounds of food collected for the Kidzpacs Program and a $500 check that reflects the generosity of the St Philips Lutheran congregation as well as their appreciation for lasagna! Coordinators Mike Anderson and Renee Johnson and their band of merry rebuilders, all formed a caravan and drove over 1300 miles in two days to deliver the food, the check and to spend the week rebuilding a local church and a family home, whose owners have been in a hotel all this time and are about to have nowhere to go but their Harvey ravaged home. And the reward for their good works is to see the fruits of their labor so
many years ago and hear about the thousands of lives that have been impacted by GCFB since their visit in 2006.  There is really no rhyme or reason to why certain people are called to give service in one place or another. The circumstances that led this group of wonderful, talented group of people to Mark Davis’ door so many years ago has been a blessing that is difficult to measure. We hear so much in the media about the drain the “Baby Boomers” have on our economy but as I look at these individuals willing to drive thousands of miles to feed thousands
of mouths, I must say I am proud to be a Boomer. Our parents were lovingly referred to as The Greatest Generation. Looking at the St Phillips group and the many, many other organizations peppered with individuals like these, I believe they may well have earned the title of The Giving Generation. God Bless Them, Every One!

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