It's been only a few weeks since the waters receded from the homes, businesses, and schools of Minot, N.D. — the hardest hit victim of spring and summer floods that caused an estimated $1 billion in damages across the state. More than 11,000 people from the city were displaced, six schools were damaged, and anything resembling a typical Midwest summer was absent. "There was no state fair. No zoo. The parks were closed. There was no baseball in town this summer," schools superintendent Mark Vollmer told the AP.
As I mentioned earlier, actor Josh Duhamel ("Transformers," "Damages") is a native of Minot, and upon witnessing the devastation, immediately joined in the recovery efforts by becoming the honorary chairman for the Minot Area Recovery Fund.
"I spent the first 22 years of my life in Minot and still have family living there, including my sister and her family who have lost their house to floodwaters," said Duhamel. "Minot will always be home to me, and it breaks my heart to see the devastation the city and its residents are going through. People from Minot are strong and come together in a time of need, and I know they'll get through this. But with everyone's help, we can make it easier for them to restore their lives and the surrounding Minot area."
So far, that organization has raised more than $3 million to benefit the city and surrounding area with long-term flood recovery needs. Over Labor Day weekend, Duhamel pulled off another charitable act by organizing a relief concert headlined by the Black Eyed Peas.
The event drew more than 16,000 people to the North Dakota fairgrounds, with an estimated $1 million raised for relief efforts.
“This is a beautiful, beautiful vision for us, especially for me because I have family here now... It might be small, but it has the biggest heart in America. North Dakota, we love you so much!” Duhamel's wife and Black Eyed Peas singer, Fergie, said, according to Contactmusic.
Front man will.i.am also took to Twitter to praise the 38-year-old actor for his commitments to the region saying, "Thank you for your passion, determination, and vision to do good, and ability to bring people together for a good cause."