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Rochester Spirit Days aims to ignite goodwill in citizens

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SPIRITDAYS

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The first ever Rochester Spirit Days kicks off Friday night with the goal to unite and to inspire people to show love and compassion to their neighbors.

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton approached the president of the National Community Resource Center back in July to see if he could help come up with a way unite the community amid the volatile climate right now caused by the pandemic, the upcoming election and racial tension.

Together with partnerships with organizations like the Salvation Army, Family Service Rochester and area churches, they came up with a 10 day campaign that puts special focus on spreading goodwill to others.

"I think it's a matter of experiencing a transformation from within," National Community Resource Center President Wendell Amstutz said. "And, going back to some basics and doing things like saying 'hello' and 'you have a good day.' Those are some beginning starts. But then we need to work further and say thank you and reaffirm some ongoing values that are important to us."

The campaign goes through Oct. 25 and encourages people to participate in "Pillar Projects." The projects include donating food to a food pantry, donating coats, sending letters to seniors and getting involved with a neighborhood cleanup. A pep rally on Friday at 7 p.m. will christen the campaign and will include remarks from the mayor and Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin.

Amstutz said they have plans to continue to celebration of the spirit of goodwill beyond the 10 days. He said they want to have one "spirit" day a month where people can do something good for others. They also plan on starting a pen pal program with students and seniors citizens in nursing homes.

The pep rally will be live streamed on Facebook. For more information on getting involved, people are encouraged to visit the Rochester Spirit Days website.

Megan Zemple

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