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Helping Hand

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Hay donation comes full circle

RANDOLPH — Rick Gubbels could not believe the incredible generosity of others during the 2019 floods.

Two years ago, Gubbels and his friend, Steve Stueckrath, both of Randolph, got to be a part of the flood disaster relief efforts when they drove his ’88 Freightliner called “Old Blue Thunder” to Berthold, N.D., to pick up a load of donated hay.

Gubbels and Stueckrath unloaded the hay at the Verdigre collection point to assist with farmers and ranchers in the area.

“They got a message to me that they had a load of hay to donate but needed someone to haul it. My family’s been in the alfalfa business since the ‘80s so we have trucks, trailers, and all the toys to do the job,” Gubbels said.

Gubbels and Stueckrath got the message on a Thursday and were headed north that Saturday.

“In the back of my mind, I thought if ever I got a chance to repay them, I would,” Gubbels said.

Now two years later, North Dakota is currently suffering their own natural disaster as a severe drought wreaks havoc in the Berthold area.

Gubbels realized this was a chance for the kindness to come full circle.

He’s currently getting together a load of hay to take to the Darrell Meyer Ranch in Berthold – about 25 miles west of Minot - with the plan to leave on Saturday, Aug. 21.

Meyer is a former Randolph area resident. He and his family currently operate the North Dakota ranch.

This time, there’s more time to plan and Gubbels is seeking donations of both hay and money for fuel.

His wife posted about his efforts on Facebook and “donations came in like you wouldn’t believe,” Gubbels said.

“Within minutes, the phone was ringing,” he said. “We had half the fuel money covered in half an hour,” he said.

Thirty bales have also been donated for the cause with all the donations coming from Randolph residents so far.

He is still seeking four bales to finish out the load and money for fuel. Gubbels estimates fuel at about $900 for the 1,200-mile round trip.

“You know when you see kindness happen, it motives you,” he said. “When disaster happens and when you get to be a part of the help, it really stimulates you to see the good in people.”

To donate, call Gubbels at 402-360-1064.

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