Minot workers get $1,000 each to give to charity

Associated Press

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Employees of a Minot engineering and consulting firm have borrowed an idea from a Fargo bank to help the city in its recovery from record Souris River flooding.

Ackerman-Estvold Engineering and Management Consulting Inc. employees were each given $1,000 to donate to the community organizations of their choice. They distributed roughly $40,000, including some of their own money and money they helped raise, to needy elementary schools, camps, churches and parks, company business manager Jessica Ackerman told the Minot Daily News and KCJB radio.

"Rather than have just our management determine an organization to contribute funds to, we thought it would be more impactful to engage and empower our employees through a giving project," Ackerman told the newspaper. "We were amazed at the variety of organizations and entities that were touched because of this project, and our employees were able to directly experience the joy in helping others at this time of need."

Much of Minot was swamped by the Souris River this summer. About 11,000 people were forced from their homes, and an estimated 4,100 homes were damaged.

"It's been really awesome," Ackerman said of the company's flood relief program. "It was so great to see them get excited about their own interests, and very exciting to see them put in their own time and effort and money to make it bigger than what we could do as a company."

State Bank and Trust in Fargo operates a similar initiative during the winter holiday season and has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the needy.