Donate food by scheduling a drop off at Merrick's food shelf (Click here for food list)
Merrick and EDIT Open Discussion of Poverty Through Art
Merrick has built another strong partnership with a local arts organization—Equity Diversity Inclusion Together, or EDIT—this time to bring arts and advocacy home.
“How do we tell the story of poverty in our community with dignity, honesty, and respect?”
Starting in September, MCS youth met weekly with EDIT staff to learn about photography and expression. EDIT also hosted Wing Young Huie, a local and renowned photographer, whose most recent work along University Avenue in St. Paul brought attention to the Midway neighborhood at the time of the light rail construction project. Once the students had a strong foundation in artistic principles and storytelling, the staff began leading them on small field trips—around the neighborhood, to the police station to interview law enforcement officials, and to a nearby homeless shelter.
Coleman smiles as she reflects on the program. “Our philosophy at the youth program—and Merrick’s vision for the future—is to provide experiences for our youth to prepare them to be community leaders in the 21st Century.”
The project will culminate with a gallery display of the youth program’s photography at MCTC on January 9, 2013. The event is open to the public.
1,000 Rolls for Food
The Shuharikan Dojo is a warm, friendly place with butter-cream yellow walls and lots of windows, but you would miss it if you didn’t know it was there. It’s above an antique shop in an old building in downtown St. Paul. It’s a calm place, except when it’s full of squirrely kids in their socks, bouncing and stretching and preparing to do Aikido. The Dojo, which means “school” in Japanese, is a non-profit studio for students of Aikido, one of the Japanese martial arts that grew out of the Samurai tradition. Unlike Karate or other martial arts, Aikido emphasizes self-defense while protecting the safety of the attacker, so there’s no kicking or punching. Because of its emphasis on harmony, the St. Paul Dojo began incorporating a week long celebration of the UN International Day of Peace into their fall curriculum. Jon Sharratt, one of the Dojo’s Directors, remembers the 2012 “Peace Week,” saying, “This year we really wanted to reach out into the community. This was our biggest Aiki Peace Week yet.”
The Dojo celebration began on Monday, September 17th and culminated on Saturday, September 22nd, with the “Roll-a-thon” – a food-and-fundraiser for Merrick Community Services.
On Saturday the Dojo’s kids class—with students as young as four years old—performed 1,000 total rolls to raise money for Merrick. Aikido teaches a rolling technique unlike that in gymnastics or other tumbling sports – this one is designed to protect the student, both from muscle sprains and from outside attack. It’s a swift, fluid movement - more like a kart-wheel than a somersault. “Once I slipped and fell on some ice, but I tucked my chin and rolled, just like we teach our students,” Sharratt jokes. “So it’s got practical applications!”
Sharratt estimated that each student had to perform 40-50 rolls in order to hit the 1,000 rolls goal. “When you’re that young you’ve got all kinds of untapped energy.” And he’s recruited the parents and observers to help count each kid’s rolls. “This year,” he says, “We’re getting everybody on board!”
The students—or “aikidōka”—were also in charge of bringing in non-perishable food items for Merrick’s food shelf program, and at the end of the day, more than 400 lbs of food were donated.
“This event really brings everything together,” says Jon Sharratt. “It’s about helping the kids take ownership of their community, be involved, and have some fun at the same time.”
The Dojo is located at 265 W 7th St (3rd floor) in St. Paul, MN.
They can be reached at www.shuharikan.net.
Merrick Community Services Food Shelf at Woodland Hills will be offering free produce on the following date:
Events will run at Woodland Hills from 9:00am until the food is gone.
First come-first serve
Bring your own bags
Frutas y Verduras Gratis
Merrick Community Services a Woodland Hills ofreceran comida gratis en las siguientes fechas:
Eventos funcionaran a Woodland Hills de 9:00am hasta que la comida se ha terminado, por orden de llegada.
Traer sus propias bolsas
Neighbors, families and friends gathered at Merrick's Community Center on August 6th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for food, fun, music and more! A special thank you to our NNO partners, volunteers and community members who contributed to the event!
District 5 Council member Amy Brendmoen,
District 5 Planning Council
Railroad Island Task Force,
St. Paul Fire Department
St. Paul Police Department
Merrick Community Services Staff and Dedicated Volunteers
Merrick Salutes the Greatest Generation
Join us in paying tribute to our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, friends, teachers, colleagues, military veterans and scores of other seniors to whom we owe immeasurable thanks and gratitude. And it shouldn't stop there!
Over 355 students received backpacks and school supplies as part of Merrick's Back to School Bash on August 24th. Free hair cuts, dental kits and laundry soap were also provided. A special thank you to our generous donors, corporate contributors and individuals and volunteers who made the event such as success! Thank you for making a difference for children and families on St. Paul's East Side!