MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO is partnering with Xcel Energy for the company’s Day of Service this week. We’ll introduce you to local nonprofits that could use your help. Recently, WCCO caught up with a group of Xcel volunteers on a return trip to the Boys and Girls Club in North Minneapolis.

It was clean-up day at Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club in North Minneapolis. On this day youth leaders, members of the Torch Club, cleaned several areas of the building with the help of Xcel Energy employees.

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Paget Pengelly is one of a handful of people from Xcel who continue to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club. They were introduced during the company’s Day of Service and can’t help but to lend a helping hand when needed.

“Cleaning up a yard doesn’t even feel like work when I’m just getting to chat with them about their favorite movie,” Pengelly said.

For Pengelly and her crew, connecting with community is important.

“There is nothing more pure than hanging out with kids, their unfiltered joy and getting to do goofy things with them,” she said.

They not only satisfy a need inside the club, they are also helping build future leaders. Branch director Cee Jay Jackson says community volunteers help Club kids realize their full potential.

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“It’s a chance to be a mentor to a young person. It’s a chance for them to share how young people can possibly get into that career path and just build a relationship with a young person,” Jackson said. “I always say the saying that called pamoja tutashinda, and it means ‘together we win,’ because we all have a part in making the club work and making the programs work.”

With all the programs offered at the Boys and Girls Club, there are always volunteer opportunities.

“We like volunteers to fit in where they fit in, so if they are interested in doing reading activities with the kids or STEM programming, if they’re more interested in helping create flyers or social media with us,” Jackson said.

Volunteers who specialize in theatre and arts and crafts are also needed to pull out the hidden talents of all kids who come to the Boys and Girls Club. Xcel Energy is challenging other companies, organizations and neighborhood groups to roll up their sleeves and make a difference by being a volunteer.

“I encourage my neighbors to go, my fiancé, my friends — because it really just makes my whole day, whole week, whole month,” Pengelly said.

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You can sign up to help this weekend, learn about other organizations, and take Xcel’s “Good Energy” pledge to volunteer, by going to wcco.com/dayofservice.

Reg Chapman