What Hubert Humphrey Taught Us about Giving Back

We’ve rounded up stories of doing good in Minnesota with the local politician’s words (and favorite sandwich) in mind
Vice President Humphrey at a meeting in the Oval Office, June 21, 1965
Vice President Humphrey at a meeting in the Oval Office, June 21, 1965

Photo by Yoichi Okamoto/Wikipedia

“Compassion is not weakness,” legendary Minnesota politician Hubert Humphrey once said. “And concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.” Those words ring true in the land of 10,000 lakes, which was named the most charitable state in the U.S. last year by WalletHub. Sharing some of the stories that helped our state earn that accolade in Give Twin Cities has been incredibly inspiring, given the thousands of good deeds, large and small.

One exciting narrative is that of All Square in south Minneapolis. The nonprofit’s craft grilled cheese sandwich restaurant and institute are two vital parts of an engine for change in the lives of individuals looking to start anew after incarceration. I recently visited All Square to support the establishment’s mission with both dollars and fellowship and to try one of the many unique menu options. I opted for the Did My Thyme (five cheeses, cucumber, hummus, and Greek sauce) and was not disappointed. All Square is just one of the many innovative organizations we’ve highlighted—within industries Minnesota Monthly readers know well: food, art, technology, and more—that gives back in big ways.

Senior Editor Reed Fischer with All Square sandwiches
Senior Editor Reed Fischer with All Square sandwiches (BlackBlue: Cardigan sweater by S.N.S. Herning)

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

We also share the stories behind well-known Minnesotans who are taking extraordinary steps to help society, plus some of the biggest charitable events in the seasons to come. I hope that these stories serve as a reminder that we all have the power to serve, share, and support. It’s something that existed in our state long before Hubert Humphrey, and will continue long after.

One more Humphrey quote for the road: “My favorite sandwich is peanut butter, baloney, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise on toasted bread with lots of catsup on the side.” I haven’t tried that combination, and I’m not sure I’d like to, but it seems that “the Happy Warrior,” a nickname Humphrey received for his record as a social welfare crusader, would be way into All Square—in the kitchen, society, and even their slogan: “Don’t judge, just eat.”

Read more from this year’s Give Twin Cities:

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