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St. Paul volunteer hopes to connect people

Lynda Young volunteers for many community groups and events in St. Paul and in the region, hoping to help connect people. “The world is so big... that it is so easy to feel disconnected, isolated and alone,” says Young, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

National Volunteer Week takes place from April 14-20, 2024

ST. PAUL – Lynda Young volunteers for many community groups and events in St. Paul and in the region. 

She has volunteered with events hosted by organizations like the St. Paul and District Arts Foundation, Mannawanis Native Friendship Centre, Lakeland Multicultural Association, St. Paul Desna Ukrainian Dance Club, Elk Point Choir, and Elk Point Allied Arts Centre. 

Many of the community events she volunteers for include multi-cultural events aimed at connecting community members. 

Young also helped found Pride St. Paul and the St. Paul Multicultural Circle. 

Through the many organizers Young has been involved with, she aims to get people to share their cultures and celebrations with the community.  

“I’m a performer myself and I like to be able to share the wonderful diversity that is in our community, and I value that very, very much,” she says. 

Young works as a substitute teacher and teaches dance and theatre on the side. She lives on a farm in the St. Paul area, which is always busy. She also has a family and children to take care of. 

So, when asked why she volunteers, Young says it’s simply because she wants to help connect people and do her part. 

“Not everything can be quantified by money,” says Young. 

Connections between members of a community, or connections between people themselves, can often feel fleeting or fragmented. 

“The world is so big, and there’s so many people out there, that it is so easy to feel disconnected, isolated and alone,” she says, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

The value of building a community is paramount to living a happy, healthy life and everyone deserves that, says Young.  

“There are very many different aspects of volunteering, and for me, what I want to do... is help build a community where people feel supported and welcomed.” 

And if she can help do that, then it is time well-spent. 

What helps inspire and drive her to volunteer goes back to when she moved to St. Paul.  

“I was quite overwhelmed with how welcoming people were here. I got to know people... got to know friends,” she says, and she wants to help others feel the same way. 

That is why she co-founded St. Paul Multicultural Circle back in 2019. “Our first event was a Christmas potluck,” she says, which was well attended by many members of the community. 

The success reflects how people in St. Paul want to build a community and want to get to know each other, “Especially now that there are more and more newcomers in St. Paul.” 

Currently, the St. Paul Multicultural Circle is hosting an English Conversation Circle at the St. Paul Municipal Library every Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The program is free for anyone to attend. 

The St. Paul Multicultural Circle will also be organizing a potluck open to the public on May 23. 

She hopes members of the community “join us to celebrate our wonderful community and to welcome newcomers to St. Paul.” 

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