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Up with People to volunteer in the community

On Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, Woodbury will have 100 extra helping hands in the community when Up with People makes it way to Woodbury.

Up with People is a performing group that tours the world with a global cast participating in community service projects, staying with host families and performing in a multi-cultural show.

During those two days the 100-member cast will be involved several service projects within the community.

"The purpose is kind of like a pay it forward mind set," said Chelsey Panchot, international promotion manager for Up with People. "We hope people take a stand and get involved."

One of the projects will see about 15 Up with People members volunteering at the Merrill Community Arts Center-Rivertown Campus to assist with patching, and painting a mural directly inside the building's entrance.

The second service project involves the group working with Community Thread's Senior Chore Help program. During the day, roughly 10 cast members will travel to a Lake St. Croix woman's house to help with painting her home's interior, painting her deck and completing her yard work.

The third service project will see roughly 30 cast members visiting Oak Meadow Independent and Assisted Senior Living Center. During their visit, the volunteers will interview residents and gather life stories that will be created into a blanket. The volunteers will assist with gardening before closing out the day with an international fashion show.

In the fourth project volunteers will help harvest the community garden at Guardian Angels Church in Oakdale. The vegetables will then be donated to Christian Cupboard Food Shelf in Woodbury.

The final project will have some 70 cast members visiting Woodbury and East Ridge high schools as well as Woodbury Middle School where they will conduct interactive cross-cultural communication and diversity workshops for the students.

"We want them to accept and understand how they are similar and different," Panchot said.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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