About 200 volunteers with the New York Says Thank You Foundation are expected to arrive in North Dakota next week to assist with construction projects in Bottineau and Minot and an art project designed to promote hope.
The volunteers are coming in commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, which has become the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
About 20 of the volunteers will be in Minot from Sept. 4 through 8 to help with the Stars of HOPE community art project. Residents will be painting inspirational words and messages on wooden stars to be placed around Minot and Burlington.
Samantha Senger, a student at Longfellow Elementary, holds the Star of HOPE Tuesday that she accepted for Minot at a ceremony in Joplin, Mo., in May. Residents will have the opportunity to paint additional Stars of HOPE next week to be placed around the community.
A small group of volunteers, including Hurricane Katrina survivors from St. Bernard's Parish in Louisiana, will be driving to Minot to volunteer on a home-building project coordinated by Lutheran Disaster Response. They may be joined on Sept. 4 by a small group of New York City firefighters who will be coming as part of the advance team on the Annie's House build at Bottineau Winter Park from Sept. 6 through 9. Annie's House is an adaptive ski lodge being built in memory of Ann Nelson, a Stanley native who died in the trade center attack.
Visiting volunteers will include about 20 fire fighters from New York, many who survived the World Trade Center attacks. They will include Hurricane Katrina survivors from Louisiana, wildfire survivors from California and tornado survivors from Illinois, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Georgia and Joplin, Mo.
The community of Joplin planted more than 3,000 Stars of HOPE on last year's 10th anniversary of Sept.. 11 in a project coordinated by Missouri Southern State University. Minot sent a delegation to Joplin on the observance of the one-year anniversary of the city's tornado in May to receive a Star of HOPE.