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6th annual United Way Action Day

Ashley DuBose

Ashley DuBose

Thousands of volunteers descended upon Target Field on a recent Thursday evening for the 6th annual United Way Action Day and assembled 9,000 backpacks.

Event organizers say attendees had a fun-filled and inspirational evening of music, community stories, and most of all, left knowing they’re part of “#huMNkind.”

Greater Twin Cites United Way and the Minnesota Twins co-hosted the event that featured DJ D.Mil spinning sounds on Twins Plaza as volunteers filled backpacks with school supplies that were distributed to 18 United Way partner agencies that serve kids and families.

Action Day emcee, actor/comedian Shed G, energetically led the audience through the inspirational stories presented by community members and the concert by local musicians. The audience danced to the music by concert headliners Ashley DuBose of Season 5 of NBC’s “The Voice,” Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter Ryan Liestman, and Ryan Bynum and the Best of Band, who was joined on stage by legendary musicians Jellybean Johnson and Sonny T as they closed the show with a tribute to Prince.

Ryan Liestman

Ryan Liestman

A pair of Twins fan appreciation weekend tickets – when the Twins take on Kansas City Sept. 23 – Sept. 25 – went to the first 2,500 volunteers through the gates at Action Day.

How does this event connect to United Way’s work? Greater Twin Cities United Way president and CEO, Sarah Caruso, said it starts with investing in humankind.

“United Way helps people and communities realize their full potential. We achieve this when everyone participates,” said Caruso. “We’re grateful that our community pulled together to assemble these 9,000 school supply kits for kids who range in age from prekindergarten to high school. These supplies will help ensure all kids in our hometown are prepared for success when they start the new school year. We saw the power of collective kindness at Action Day.”

Ryan Bynum

Ryan Bynum

Once backpacks and school supply kits were assembled, crews loaded hundreds of boxes on to trucks and delivered the kits to 18 United Way agency partners.

For every use of #huMNkind on social media, event sponsors Land O’Lakes, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy are donating up to $5,000.
See Action Day highlights, photos, and the complete list of recipient agencies at

August 31, 2016
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