Medical relief group prepares to ship supplies from Minnesota to Haiti

A semitrailer full of relief supplies will roll out of Patty Nelson’s driveway in Aitkin, Minn., on Wednesday, beginning a 2,000-mile journey from northern Minnesota to northern Haiti.

Nelson is coordinator for Project Haiti, a medical relief group that’s delivered doctors and supplies to the country during annual mission trips since 1989.

It’s among the dozens of small organizations nationwide rushing to help meet the big need for food, water and other essentials as the nation digs out from the rubble of last Tuesday’s deadly 7.0 earthquake.

“The outpouring of help has been just phenomenal,” said Nelson, a retired nurse who is also secretary and treasurer of Project Haiti. Continue reading “Medical relief group prepares to ship supplies from Minnesota to Haiti”

Co-working sites aim to give Twin Cities telecommuters a better connection

Twin Cities telecommuters have a new option for getting out of the house, and it doesn’t require buying a cup of coffee.

A pair of “co-working” centers opened this week in St. Paul, one in downtown and another in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood.

The centers are independent of each other, but both were inspired by similar hubs on the East and West coasts. The idea is to create a place where self-employed and telecommuting professionals can come together to work, and also benefit from some of the socializing, networking and collaborating that happens in a conventional office.

“It’s not really an office, and it’s not really a coffee shop, but it’s this other, third place and we go there to get work done plus socialize,” said Garrick Van Buren, a Twin Cities web developer who has followed the co-working movement on his blog.

The economy makes it an especially good time to experiment with co-working because many workers are in transition and there’s a surplus of commercial office space, he said. Continue reading “Co-working sites aim to give Twin Cities telecommuters a better connection”