New Year’s Day

West Bank friends,

We did not kick off the year quite as anybody had hoped. This week has been an emotional one as we pick up the pieces of the events on New Year’s Day. And while it has been heartbreaking, I can’t say enough about the incredible outpouring of support, concern and help. The West Bank continues to amaze and humble me, and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of this community.

I am receiving lots of messages about ways people can help support the relief efforts and  am responding as quickly as I can. I’ll continue to share more specific information as I get it, but in the meantime, here are three excellent resources. Please share and distribute this information.

The Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota has launched a fund directing 100% of donations to the victims and their families. You can donate through the CSCMN website and by specifying “Cedar Riverside Fire Victims” in the Special Purpose bar. Please share the link and directions on donating – this is a tragedy but also an opportunity to unite the Twin Cities community by showing our support for our neighbors.

Link here:

The Brian Coyle Center has also been an amazing resource and hub for community relief (both for this instance and other efforts.) Donations to benefit this effort and Brian Coyle / Pillsbury United Communities can be made here:
And last but not least, January is blood donor month, and blood donations are always needed. For those that were hospitalized on New Year’s morning and others who will be in need in the future, blood donations are so important. You can find out more about setting up an appointment here:
The WBBA will be looking into additional ways our organization can  support relief efforts, if not through general support with the other organization’s activities then perhaps with some organized funding to help support Otanga – we’re exploring what we can do. If you’d like to join our member committee for that conversation we’ll be meeting at Acadia on Thursday January 9th at 11am.
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