Northland Strong: Hiti’s Helpers

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Randy Hiti loved serving his community as a volunteer firefighter for Rice Lake. He was responding to a call, when he died in February of 2015.

“We buried him on the 26th anniversary of his service to the department,” recalled Kat Proveaux, one of his daughters.

“After he died, we were trying to figure out a way to get through the anniversary of his death,” Proveaux said.

For awhile, it was volunteering or giving treats to first responders. Hiti had volunteered in many ways, including at Grandma’s Marathon.

But now, they’ve realized giving back to those in need is the way to really make an impact.

With help from St. Luke’s and other companies, they collected warm winter gear and hygiene items, and delivered them to the Union Gospel Mission.

“Because my dad died in February, it’s one of the coldest months in Duluth. We know there’s a high need for socks and flashlights, and warm clothing. We wanted to make sure that we could get those things for our community,” Proveaux said.

They are calling this effort #Hiti’sHelpers.

Union Gospel Mission is beyond grateful.

During last week’s storm, they sent their guests out with care packages that included those items.

Katie Hagglund, executive director, said, “So right now is kind of our slower time of year for donations, but it’s our busiest time of year for seeing guests come through the door. So it was perfect timing. And a blessing that they selected us. We are going to make sure we put their efforts to good use, and continue to honor Randy’s legacy.”