The race against the Red River was on. Facing the threat of severe floods, thousands of volunteers flocked to Fargo, N.D., this week to lend a hand filling and stacking sandbags to protect the town from the Red River's rising tides. At the heart of that volunteer corps were over 1,000 of the city's youngest citizens.
Since March 1, volunteers have been bused in to Fargo's "Sandbag Central," an arena-size utility building normally used to house a fleet of 25 garbage trucks. There, community members have been working feverishly to fill and distribute 1 million sandbags before the river's expected crest this Sunday. The overwhelming number of kids who have volunteered their time and energy for this effort has been critical to helping the town meet its goal.
College students helped with the sandbagging effort last year when the region lived through record flooding, but this year, those students are on spring break. To fill the gap, town officials put out a call to any middle school and high school students in the area who would be able to help. Students can be excused from class with their parents' permission to join the hundreds of adults who are filling sandbags to hold back the impending floodwaters. Students answered the town's call for help in record numbers.
Town officials said more than 1,000 children and teens have participated in the effort thus far. It's because of this extra workforce that the volunteers were able to meet their sandbagging goal on Wednesday afternoon, three days ahead of schedule.
Hopefully, when this is all over, those kids will be rewarded with one heck of a pizza party!