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Christmas train reinvented

Newspaper, homeless coalition cooperate on food drive

The cancellation of the annual CP Rail Holiday Train this year leaves Minot without the associated food drive at a time when more members of the community are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

To fill that void, The Minot Daily News and the Minot Area Homeless Coalition have teamed up to collect nonperishable food items and toiletries to increase the inventory for the Lord’s Cupboard. Money donations will be taken to support the homeless coalition in helping with rent and utility needs in the community.

The donation drive begins Nov. 24 and runs through Dec. 18. Drop box locations will be announced in early November.

“There’s an obvious need here that needs to be filled, and we want to try to help fill it this holiday season,” said Bob Patchen, Minot Daily News publisher. “With the CP train not coming this year, we want to offer the spirit of it.”

To that end, the community is invited to build a holiday train, either homemade or from a model kit. The train can be a single car or an entire train. The trains will be displayed in businesses throughout Minot.

Children, adults, businesses or groups are encouraged to get creative and build a train. Trains should be no more than four feet long by three inches wide and three inches deep so they can fit in window displays.

Participants should send an email with “train” in the subject line with their name, address and phone number to bpatchen@minotdailynews.com so the number of businesses needed for the displays can be determined. Trains should be completed by Nov. 23.

The Minot Daily News will publish pictures of all the trains, along with maps showing locations of the displays and the dropboxes, on its website. People are encouraged to vote online for their favorite trains. The winner will be recognized at the end of the contest.

People can watch for more information about potential donation stations for the homeless coalition. Donations also can be made online at minotareahomelesscoalition.com.

Businesses interested in serving as dropbox locations can send an email to Patchen with “drop site” in the subject line.

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