New to town

For Newcomers

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Are you new to the area? We know some folks who would be happy to make you feel at home. If you'd like to have a local contact you and invite you to "grab-a-bite," simply contact us with the best way for them to reach you. There is no cost for you and you will not be asked to buy or join anything.

Why Grab-a-bite?

  • DO NOT– ask the newcomer to buy, join, sign up for, or attend ANYTHING!  If they ask about a Church or how they can be involved in the community, you are free to respond.  However, the goal of this contact is to present yourself as a welcoming resource, not get them to join a club.
  • DO NOT– let them pay for the meal.
  • DO NOT– make assumptions about the person you are meeting with.
  • DO NOT– gossip, or otherwise disparage anyone in the community or any other community.
  • DO– ask open ended questions about the newcomer: “What brings you to town?”  “What did you enjoy about the place you used to live?” etc.
  • DO– be prepared to share your contact info & present yourself a reference for future questions. For example, let them know they can call you if they need a plumber, a hairstylist or are interested in a Community Club.

For Locals

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Interested in helping out area newcomers? For a step-by-step process on how to establish a Grab-A-Bite program in your community, please reference our best practices.

Best practices

A step-by-step process on how to establish a Grab-A-Bite program in your community.
  • number-one-in-a-circle

    Contact Otter Tail County’s Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator, Erik Osberg, to let him know of your community’s desire to participate. He will supply you with the appropriate marketing materials including a logo.   

  • number-two-in-a-circle

    Identify 3-10 “Locals” who are willing to commit to taking at least one “Newcomer” out to grab-a-bite over the next 12 months.  Each LOCAL should be willing to commit to:

    • 12 months on the Team of Champions
    • Recruit & train their replacement
  • number-three-in-a-circle (1)

    Set up a time for Erik to come to your community & meet with the Locals.

  • number-four-in-circular-button

    Prior to this meeting, contact a few local eateries and ask them if they would be willing to be an Annual Sponsor.  (Cash donations are not required, other suggested options are: Gift Cards, Highly Discounted Coupons, or Buy-One-Get-One-Free free vouchers). 

  • number-five-in-circular-button

    Each Local should bring with them the name of at least one newcomer to the meeting.  

  • number-six-in-a-circle

    After meeting with Erik, Locals should take the Newcomer out to grab-a-bite one-on-one.  See our rules for more information. 

  • number-seven-in-a-circle

    Create a database with the names of the Newcomers who participate in the program, they may become future Locals.

  • number-eight-in-a-circle

    Establish quarterly meetings so your team of Locals can get together to share successes, discuss struggles and make problem-solving suggestions to avoid any repeat failures.

  • number-nine-in-a-circle

    Set up a meeting with Erik after 12 months to facilitate the training of the new team of Locals.

Grab-a-bite rules

  • DO NOT– ask the newcomer to buy, join, sign up for, or attend ANYTHING!  If they ask about a Church or how they can be involved in the community, you are free to respond.  However, the goal of this contact is to present yourself as a welcoming resource, not get them to join a club.
  • DO NOT– let them pay for the meal.
  • DO NOT– make assumptions about the person you are meeting with.
  • DO NOT– gossip, or otherwise disparage anyone in the community or any other community.
  • DO– ask open ended questions about the newcomer: “What brings you to town?”  “What did you enjoy about the place you used to live?” etc.
  • DO– be prepared to share your contact info & present yourself a reference for future questions. For example, let them know they can call you if they need a plumber, a hairstylist or are interested in a Community Club.

Questions?

Erik-Osberg-224085735

Erik Osberg, Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator

Erik Osberg is Otter Tail County's Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator. For questions about implementing Rural Rebound Initiatives into your community, please reach out.
Phone: (218) 770-7848
Email: eosberg@co.ottertail.mn.us

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