A Quest for Community Service Nationwide: Couple Stops in Fargo to Help Out at HERO

John-Michael and Tara Elmore rearranged shelves and organized medical supplies at HERO

FARGO, N.D. — There aren’t a lot of married couples who live out of a van and spend a year traveling from state to state.

However, John–Michael and Tara Elmore are not just going on a nationwide road trip.

Instead, they’re making a difference through community service.

“We wanted to travel, we wanted to see all 50 states, and we said ‘how can we pay this forward at the same time?’ so we made sure we would volunteer with at least one not–for–profit in each state,” said John-Michael Elmore.

So far, the Elmores have helped out non–profits in 33 states.

But when picking out a group to volunteer with in North Dakota, something stuck out to them about Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization (HERO), an group that collects and re–distributes medical supplies to those in need.

“I was researching it because this was a unique, different organization and when I was reading about them, I was just fascinated, so I got a hold of them to see if there was anything we could do,” said Tara Elmore.

The staff at HERO welcomed the Elmores with open arms.

“HERO is just honored that they selected us out of all the great nonprofits in and around the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as across the state of North Dakota. So we’re really happy that the message resonated with them,” said Bridget Ertelt, the Communications Coordinator at HERO. 

Throughout the day, the Elmores organized surgical and mission supplies, and helped rearranged items and shelves inside the store front.

One of the most rewarding parts of their journey has been meeting the people who positively impact lives each day.

“When we’re volunteering with an organization, you know you’re with people who are making a difference in their community and they’re really the best people to spend time with,” Tara said.

As they keep checking states off the list, the lessons the Elmores learn gain more meaning.

“We get more out of it, I honestly believe, than what we do. I mean, we’ll give it a day or two, we’ll work really hard, but what we learn about people, a community, an organization, is so rewarding,” John-Michael said.

The next stop for the Elmores will be Omaha, Nebraska.

For more on their journey and the organizations they’ve helped, click here.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News