MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Xcel Energy Day of Service on Saturday was a huge success.

Sixteen-hundred volunteers from all over the state of Minnesota came out to give back to their communities. John Marshall, director of community relations for Xcel, said this year is a little different.

“This is the first year that we’ve opened it up to the public. We weren’t sure how it was going to go, but the numbers have been staggering, and impressive and humbling,” Marshall said. “It speaks to the overall sense of generosity that exists in the state of Minnesota.”

(credit: Xcel Energy)

One of the organizations that volunteers worked with was People Serving People, a nonprofit homeless shelter in Minneapolis. Two-hundred volunteers packed care packages for all of the residents. The nonprofit’s CEO, Daniel Gumnit, says he was amazed with the turnout.

“It means the world. Minnesota is such an amazing state, it’s one of the number-one volunteering states in the country, and to have all of these people coming out to help families who are experiencing homelessness need really means a lot to us,” Gumnit said.

Volunteers also helped out at Cookie Cart in north Minneapolis, where Negaya Knox volunteered at the same place her kids worked when they were in high school.

“I just don’t know how this world going on without people giving back. Everyone has a story and came from somewhere, and it’s just good to give that time back,” Knox said. “It should make you feel really good on the inside. It just makes me feel good.”

Katie Steiner