” Regardless of the many papers that need witten and exams that need to be studied for, University of Akron students have found time to make a difference in the community. National Make a Difference Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday of October.””
Regardless of the many papers that need witten and exams that need to be studied for, University of Akron students have found time to make a difference in the community.
National Make a Difference Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday of October.
More than 800 students, faculty and staff members will participate in over 60 projects this year during UA’s fifth annual Make a Difference Day.
The goal of this Saturday is to come together to serve the community.
Ron McDonald, director of leadership, development and special projects, is the coordinator of this campus-wide initiative to improve the campus community and surrounding areas.
The committee plans for months before Make a Difference Day.
We begin to plan in mid-June, McDonald said.
Last year’s Make a Difference Day motivated approximately 3 million people across the nation to volunteer and make changes in their community.
Over a four-year period we have established many relationships with agencies, churches and organizations, so we’ve built up a pretty large list of organizations in and around university park that have needs, McDonald explained.
The list gets bigger and bigger each year.
The committee begins sending out e-mails to these organizations in June or July.
After their participation Saturday, volunteers are encouraged to fill out and send in an entry form to be considered for an award.
McDonald described last Friday as the soft deadline to sign up.
They ended up having to shut down volunteer registration at promptly 5 p.m. Friday because of the overwhelming response.
The response from volunteers has been tremendous, he said. Groups, as well as individuals were able to register. People of all ages will be participating.
Saturday will be divided into two shifts.
Shift one will begin at 7:45 a.m. and will end at 12 p.m. Shift two will begin at 10:45 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.
After checking in at the Student Union, volunteers will divide into multiple projects and Make a Difference Day will be officially underway at UA.
Although the registration deadline for Make a Difference Day has passed, everyone is encouraged to make an effort to help out in the community this weekend any way that they can.
Making a difference doesn’t have to be limited to one weekend each year. Everyone, whether they signed up this year or not, can help their community any day of the year.
For people who have never volunteered, it is a great way to begin.
Six years ago I was having a conversation with the vice president of student affairs, McDonald said of his involvement in Make a Difference Day.
I told her about National Make a Difference Day and asked why we don’t do that here at UA. She replied, ‘Well, go do it!’
McDonald has been coordinator of Make a Difference Day each of the past five years.
There are many national groups that participate in National Make a Difference Day.
Some of these are United Way of America, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club of America, Goodwill Industries, Keep America Beautiful and Special Olympics.
The sponsors for UA’s Make a Difference Day this year include ZPN, University Dining Services and Akron Area YMCA, among many others.
Some of the 60 projects that will take place on Saturday include working with Habitat for Humanity, assisting elderly community members and cleaning up campus parking lots and landscape.
Some of them will be working at Goodwill, where they will sort clothes and prepare them for various Goodwill stores, McDonald said of the volunteers.
They will also work with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, or AMHA, which provides subsidized housing for low-income families and the elderly or disabled.
It seems like Make a Difference Day is starting to become part of the fabric of the university, he said proudly.
Service is so important. It’s a big part of what leadership is all about. It’s so gratifying to see the campus community get together and help.