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OUR OPINION: ‘Give Grand’ to a great cause

Our Opinion

Some civic efforts get started under the bright lights of a press conference, produce a report or two in twilight and then fade into darkness.

Not the North Valley/New Vision 360 project. Since its beginning in 2011, NV360 has sponsored surveys, launched organizations and sparked all kinds of efforts to make Grand Forks a better place.

This week’s Give Grand effort is one.

Give Grand is a “seven-day charitable challenge,” as the project’s website proclaims. Sponsored by the Community Foundation, it’s a targeted matching-grant campaign — targeted, that is, at those nonprofits whose goals most closely match the areas of high need identified in NV360’s surveys.

So, with the idea of making Grand Forks “a more fun place to live” (as survey respondents suggested), donations made via Give Grand this week to Ground UP Adventures and the 42nd Street Destination Corridor will be matched up to certain amounts.

Likewise, donations to two of the city’s key anti-poverty organizations — the Northlands Rescue Mission and Valley Community Health Centers — also will be matched.

“The goal is to inspire the community to come together for seven days to contribute as many charitable dollars as possible to support two local needs and two local opportunities,” Give Grand’s website describes.

The campaign is a terrific and creative way to encourage giving to one-of-a-kind charities. Ground UP Adventures, for example, “brings adventure to our region,” the program’s website notes.

“Kids need adventure — it helps them grow, helps them learn about risk, and gives them confidence. … We believe in the power of outdoor-adventure-based education and experience to dramatically shape lives.

“Discovering an appreciation for the outdoors and confronting challenge in the process develops self esteem, leadership abilities and a strong sense of confidence, and can serve as a path to lifelong health and wellness. Our organization creates these opportunities where they did not exist before.”

One such opportunity that “has not existed before” is a boathouse on the Red River in Grand Forks.

The boathouse, “our most ambitious project yet,” will offer “access to the best wilderness in our great city — the river,” Ground UP Adventures’ website describes.

“The downtown boat house will offer community youth and adults alike the opportunity to discover what this great waterway has to offer. Courses, clinics, events and public watercraft rental, combined with safe and mud-free access, are all on tap.”

That’s the kind of organization Give Grand is designed to support.

For his State of the City address this year, Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown chose a one-word theme: Invest.

“Now is the time. Grand Forks is the place,” he said.

To that end, and secure in the knowledge that matching grants mean donors’ dollars go a very long way, the Herald proudly will be donating to Give Grand this week. We encourage every business in town to do the same.