Tag Archives: War Kids Relief

A turn of events for Dina Fesler in Afghanistan

Dina FeslerNorthfielder Dina Fesler, head honcho at Children’s Culture Connection and War Kids Relief, has been in Afghanistan since Nov. 24 to set up operations for a U.S./Afghan Junior Investor Program, traveling and filming with Kelly Kinnunen of NEED Magazine. (More on the WKR blog here.) But life has intervened and she’s now taken on an emergency medical mission.

Continue reading A turn of events for Dina Fesler in Afghanistan

Gunnar to walk 1000 miles on ‘A Soldier’s March for Peace’

Gunnar Swanson and Dina FeslerI first met Gunnar Swanson and Dina Fesler of War Kids Relief back in January when they made a presentation at College City Beverage in Dundas. We later hosted them on our Locally Grown podcast/radio show.

They hired me to help them get set up with a WordPress-based website and to think about how social media could be used for the variety of initiatives they were planning. They then began working with Northfield-based Neuger Communications Group who, along with various marketing and communications work, took on the design of the website… now waaaaay cooler than I could have ever done.

Their next big project is A Soldier’s March for Peace (ASM4P) in which Gunnar

wkr-sshot… will march 1000+ miles from Texas to Minnesota, starting July 4, 2009. With the help of kids across the nation, he is raising funds and awareness for programs that help kids who have been traumatized by war to realize new possibilities for their lives.

Gunnar has started posting to the ASM4P blog (subscribe to its RSS feed or email updates).  You can also follow Gunnar on Twitter and on the WKR/ASM4P Facebook page.

During the Taste of Northfield festivities tomorrow, there will be an informal reception at the Archer House from 5:00 – 8:00. People can stop by to meet Dina and Gunnar and other volunteers and hear more about A Soldier’s March for Peace

They’re also hosting a kick-off event on Bridge Square next Thursday afternoon, June 25th, 2-5 PM. More to come on that.

WKR released this video last week.

Podcast: Gunnar Swanson and the War Kids Relief project

Dina Fesler, Gunnar Swanson, Ross Currier, Tracy DavisOur guest this week was Gunnar Swanson, Managing Director of the War Kids Relief project, updating us on their recently completed Young Ambassadors Pilot Program and plans for the future. (See our previous blog posts on the project.)

Click play to listen. 30 minutes. You can also download the MP3 or subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe directly with iTunes.

Continue reading Podcast: Gunnar Swanson and the War Kids Relief project

Utne Reader’s Northfield connection

Lynette Lamb, Griff Wigley, Jessica Paxton

Locally Grown’s historical roots go back to my days when I worked at Utne Reader.

So when I saw both Lynette Lamb and Jessica Paxton (former Utne-ites) at last Friday night’s War Kids Relief fundraiser (Lynette’s on the CCC board), I had to get between them for a photo. Smearing cream cheese on the shoulders of their dresses made it all the more memorable.

Lynnette worked in media relations for Carleton for a couple of years and hired Jessica. Lynette’s now a managing editor at Macalester.

War Kids Relief project ramps up

College City Beverage conference roomFor Xmas, I sent one of my sons the book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. I’d seen Beah on The Daily Show a while ago so when I saw the book at Monkey See Monkey Reads while doing my xmas shopping on xmas eve eve, I bought it.

I had already read Bonnie Obremski’s RepJ article a month earlier (Nationwide project soliciting participation from Northfield youth) describing War Kids Relief, a project being run by Northfield/Dennison-based Children’s Culture Connection (CCC). And I’d seen all the photos of the Iraqi kids on the walls of the Hideaway Coffeehouse and Winebar. Continue reading War Kids Relief project ramps up

Nationwide project soliciting participation from Northfield youth

Photo by Josh Rowan An Iraqi child participates in the War Kids Relief project
An Iraqi child participates in the War Kids Relief project

A Minnesota-based non-profit is spending the next few months partnering children in New York City, Washington D.C., and Northfield with children in Iraq in an effort to build closer ties between the nations.

“We thought about Minneapolis, but decided on Northfield,” said Pam Middleton, executive director of War Kids Relief, which is a program of the Children’s Culture Connection non-profit.

Middleton will help select about two dozen eighth- and ninth-grade students across Northfield to participate. Each child needs to submit an application in school to be considered.

“Northfield is Middle America, but it’s also a special place. The citizens here are so engaged,” she said.

The children Middleton helps select will attend at least three afternoon gatherings in January, February and March at the Northfield Public Library. There, War Kids Relief organizers will help each Northfield teen begin a pen-pal kind of relationship with an Iraqi child. The youth will exchange letters, artwork and videos. The Northfield children will learn about Iraqi culture by hearing stories, playing Iraqi games and eating samples of the region’s food.
Continue reading Nationwide project soliciting participation from Northfield youth