Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Rydell

Alex Rydell
Volunteer and board member, Alex Rydell

We are so grateful to have a wonderful group of volunteers to help us tend to our community, and we’re happy to introduce you to: Alex Rydell

Volunteering with Hope Blooms since: 2019

How did you first hear about Hope Blooms?
I first heard about Hope Blooms on social media and I was so impressed with the concept of repurposing floral arrangements and helping people to know they matter. I remember how quickly I started hearing people talking about it around town soon after I had found out about it.

Why do you choose to volunteer with Hope Blooms?
There are so many people in our community who are in need of connection and knowing they matter. The more I learned about Hope Blooms, I realized it filled those voids so well and there was no question for me that I needed to give of myself to help further the mission.

Why is giving back in your community important to you?
We have a really special community here in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and I get to see on a regular basis how its’ members support and lift one another up during difficult times. I have also learned throughout my life that the times when I have the greatest contentment are the times when I am giving the most.

In what ways do you see Hope Blooms bringing value to our community?
Hope Blooms lifts others up and helps people know and feel that they matter in a deep and meaningful way. Spreading joy to those in our community who are especially in need of it is so valuable, as I think that joy ends up being multiplied and spread further from the hearts it is given to.

What’s your favorite way to spread joy?
One of my favorite simple ways of spreading joy is by learning people’s names and being able to give a personal greeting with a smile when I see them. The connections I have made with people by doing this are so special to me and it brings me so much joy in return when I get to see how meaningful it is for someone to know that someone is paying attention to them.

How does the mission of Hope Blooms align with your own personal values?
I have always felt a deep sense of belonging in the Fargo-Moorhead area having grown up here. Being able to help others and bring a smile to someone who might be having a day where it’s hard to find something to smile about is where I feel we need to be putting our efforts. I have always valued lifting others up when they’re down and giving of the gifts I’ve been blessed with, and Hope Blooms is the right place for me to be able to do that.

Name one of the most joyful moments in your life.
The most joyful moment in my life was without a doubt when my son, Brady was born. I had no idea that I had so much love in my heart to give until he was born. The joy of bringing a life into this world and to have the opportunity to teach them all there is to know about life is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. And it keeps getting better!

What’s a hidden talent or something no one would ever guess about you?
When I was a kid I taught myself how to walk on my hands when I was bored and I’m still able to do it quite well!

What’s your favorite flower and why?
I’ve always really enjoyed the look and colors of gerber daisies. Though they are more flowering plants, geraniums and vinca are also flowers I like as they were always growing around our home growing up.

When you’re not spreading joy with Hope Blooms, how do you spend your time?
Aside from my work as a funeral director at Hanson-Runsvold, I spend a lot of time with my son, Brady, playing and supporting him at his activities. I also play violin in a few different ensembles and am the fiddler in the local Irish band, Poitin. When I’m not doing any of those things, I’m probably on the golf course.

Share a little about your family.
My son Brady is one of the greatest joys in my life and has a heart of gold. He cares so much for others and shows know hesitation letting his family and friends know how much he loves them. He’s a fantastic reader and loves playing hockey, baseball, and football. His voice is music to my ears.

I was raised in a wonderful home by a loving mother and father who are two of the best nurses around. My mom has been a nurse at Sanford for 40 years and my dad teaches nursing at Concordia while also practicing nursing in several areas at Sanford as well. My sister Haley is a successful musician in Minneapolis and travels the country playing her own music and also with her band, Buffalo Gospel. My brother, Sam, is a local farmer and started Nurtured Plains Farm, where he uses sustainable farming practices to grow high quality locally grown organic produce.