It’s official: Apple Valley’s a Yellow Ribbon city
We’re here to help.
That’s the message Bruce Folken and others involved in Apple Valley’s Yellow Ribbon program are hoping to send to military service members, veterans and their families living in the city.
“This is an ongoing program, and there are a lot of ways we can help veterans and their family members,” said Folken, chairman of Apple Valley’s Yellow Ribbon steering committee.
Yard work, landscaping and jobs around the house are among the projects the Apple Valley group is open to undertaking for veterans and active service members, Folken said.
Those who’d like a helping hand, or those who want to volunteer, can contact the Yellow Ribbon group through its Facebook page, Facebook.com/applevalleyyellowribbonnetwork.
Now that Apple Valley has achieved official Yellow Ribbon status – a designation bestowed at a March 30 ceremony in Lakeville attended by Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Rep. John Kline – the group can now focus more on service, Folken said.
To gain certification as a Yellow Ribbon city, the Apple Valley group’s eight subcommittees were required to complete action plans showing ways different segments of the community can support veterans now and in the future.
The open-ended offer to lend a helping hand is possible, Folken said, because of the organization’s unique structure, which he likened to “the hub of a wheel.”
It’s a directory of sorts that coordinates efforts by local groups – such as the Rotary Club, American Legion, Chamber of Commerce and churches – that provide resources, services and training opportunities.
“Once you have all these connections, you can make a call and within a matter of minutes you have somebody who can help,” Folken said. “That’s what’s pretty cool about it.”
Apple Valley’s Yellow Ribbon group has about 40 members and meets monthly. The group has no budget, but is now seeking nonprofit status so it can accept donations, Folken said.
A party to celebrate Apple Valley’s Yellow Ribbon certification is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at the Hayes Community and Senior Center.
The event is open to the public and will include remarks by Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland, light refreshments, and information about the Yellow Ribbon group’s activities.