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Published August 24, 2013, 09:08 PM

University of Minnesota Crookston students are lending a helping hand

Crookston, MN (WDAY TV)-- Welcome Weekend is happening right now at the University of Minnesota Crookston. For many freshmen students, this means lending a helping hand.

By: Kayla Strayer, WDAZ, WDAY

Crookston, MN (WDAY TV)-- Welcome Weekend is happening right now at the University of Minnesota Crookston. For many freshmen students, this means lending a helping hand.

The Meet Crookston Through Service projects brought more than 200 students together today to do some good throughout the community.

Freshmen Shannon Mergen has yet to start her first day of classes at the University of Minnesota Crookston, but she's already giving back to her new community.

Shannon Mergen- UMC Student: "It always feels good to volunteer."

Shannon and her peers are spending their Saturday morning at the Sun Country and You Therapy Farm just outside of Crookston.

Mergen: Coming here today's been a lot of fun. We went through the woods, cleaning up the branches and trying to make the paths bigger so they can go riding through the woods a lot easier and not have to worry about hitting the branches.

Brooke Timmins- Student Orientation Staff: "It's actually been really awesome. At first they were like, aww community service, but once we got out here and in the woods and were doing all that kind of stuff they really enjoyed it and were having fun."

Across town, UMC freshman Courtney Maruska walks dogs at the humane society. She says it's an eye opening experience for new students.

Courtney Maruska- UMC Student: "Let them see Crookston and that they have stuff to do when they're bored. Not just sit in their dorm and hang out. They could walk dogs and take care of them because they're lonely too."

Organizers say volunteering is one of the best ways to introduce new students to each other, and to the Crookston community.

Katie Schneider- Event Organizer: "It introduces them to the community and shows them opportunities throughout the school year that they can be involved with."

After the jobs are done, students pile on the bus and head back to their new home.

UMC classes start Tuesday.

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