Posted 5/03/16 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
Lindy Collins knows firsthand just how important the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry is to people who have fallen on hard times. When she and her family arrived in Watford City two and a half years ago, the mobile thrift store operated by Jim and Kathie Konsor was there to help her.
“We moved to Watford City in the dead of winter,” stated Collins. “To be able to get winter coats for our three children and work pants from the mobile thrift store for my husband was huge,” recalls Collins.
So when Collins read about the financial troubles facing the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry in the March 16 issue of the McKenzie County Farmer, she knew that she had to do something.
“I sat my boss, Tony Wishinsky, who owns Burgerrito’s, down and asked him to read the article,” stated Collins. “And then I asked him if he was willing to help.”
And for Wishinsky, saying “yes” to Collins request was easy.
“Growing up my dad also told us that we should help others,” stated Wishinsky. “This place is some people’s last hope. I knew we needed to help.”
But deciding how to help raise funds for the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry, which has helped over 1,100 families in the Watford City area since it was created in the fall of 2013, proved to be a bigger challenge.
“I decided to reach out to the community to see what they were willing to do,” stated Collins. “And the community response was fantastic.”
And as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Last Saturday, Collins and Wishinsky with an army of volunteers threw a “Picnic in the Parking Lot” at Burgerrito’s.
“We had people volunteer to do face painting for the children, a cake walk, a bounce house, and a car and motorcycle show,” stated Collins.
In addition Burgerrito’s had a buffet of hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as all of the other food you’d expect at a picnic from noon until closing.
“Our baker at Burgerrito’s made all of the cakes for the cake walk,” stated Collins. “Plus several Watford City businesses donated items for our Silent Auction.”
While high winds on Saturday forced the picnic portion of the event indoors, the parking lot was still packed with families the entire afternoon.
“It was a great afternoon,” stated Jim Konsor. “The generosity of the people that came out for the “Picnic in the Parking Lot” was overwhelming. One person paid $100 for one of the cakes. And another person walked up and gave me a check for $1,000.”
The outpouring of the community in one way surprised the Konsors, but in another way, that type of support is what one has come to expect from the people of Watford City.
“I’m tickled that Lindy and Tony would take this project on and help us,” stated Konsor. “None of what happened today would have been possible without their help.”
People came out and had a good time, and we had lots of community volunteers that helped with all of the events.”
While the future of the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry is still hanging by a thread as the Konsors try to find the money needed to keep their ministry alive, the $8,500 raised on Saturday was a help.
“There are so many people here that are struggling,” stated Konsor. “People have lost their jobs or had their hours cut and are struggling to make it. They need the help that we can provide whether it be clothing, a meal, or just having us pray with them.”
And for the Konsors, sometimes the people that they help through their Bakken Oil Rush Ministry are the first ones who turn around and help someone else.
For Lindy Collins, she will never forget how the Konsors helped her and her family during their time of need. So it just made sense for her to do what she could to help them continue to do so much good for so many in need.
“The Bakken Oil Rush Ministry has provided so many people with help. Not only with clothing and other things, but they’ve also helped people find jobs,” stated Collins. “They are truly a blessing to Watford City. I just wanted to do what I could to help.”