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Giving back to the community during Make a Difference Day

by Kristina Livingston - Executive Editor
Tue, Oct 24th 2017 11:00 am
Photo taken from Rochester Media
Make a Difference Day serves as a chance for The College at Brockport students to interact with the greater communities of Brockport and Rochester. Students work alongside locals of all ages to better the community they all share.
Photo taken from Rochester Media Make a Difference Day serves as a chance for The College at Brockport students to interact with the greater communities of Brockport and Rochester. Students work alongside locals of all ages to better the community they all share.
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A nationwide tradition will continue at The College at Brockport on Saturday, Oct. 28 with its 19th annual year of participation in Make a Difference Day.

In years past, projects have included activities such as the collection of canned goods and planting flowers. The 2017 installment will present Brockport students and other participating volunteers with six different volunteering opportunities to choose from. 

One option is cleaning the play therapy and waiting rooms at the Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester. Another is installing mini greenhouses at the Bay Street Community Garden in Rochester. At the Intergenerational Clean-Up, volunteers will be meeting at Monroe Community Hospital, then they’ll disperse to rake leaves on the properties of senior citizens in the area. Six volunteers are also needed at The Friendly Home, a Rochester retirement home, to help residents participate in an event. Students may also choose to volunteer at a Halloween party for children at Cobbs Hill in Rochester or a canvassing project within the Gold Leadership Certificate Program with the Maplewood Neighborhood Association. 

The Office of Community Development is seeking volunteers to step up to the plate to make a difference, according to its Coordinator of Service and Community Building, Nikole Van Wie. 

According to the official Make a Difference Day website, the day of service is one of the largest annual volunteer opportunity that takes place across the nation. The day was created in 1992 by USA Weekend magazine, a derivative of USA Today. 

Make a Difference Day has since evolved into a nationally recognized event which takes place every fourth Saturday of October. USA Today is still the primary organizer and sponsor of the event. Van Wie was also responsible for organizing the aforementioned Make a Difference Day opportunities for Brockport students based on a drive to fulfill the day’s purpose to impact as much of an individual community as possible. 

Students are encouraged to view the lineup of volunteering events for the day on the Eagle Service Corps section of myBrockport in order to make an informed decision about what opportunity may best suit their interests. According to Van Wie, Eagle Service Corps is the outlet through which Community Development aims to display the diverse opportunities and projects that have the potential to provide students with community engagement. 

“It is my role to coordinate these types of opportunities for students,” Van Wie wrote in an email. “I reached out to all of our community partners regarding this day and these were the organizations that had projects available for our students.”

As of now, Community Development has worked to make students aware of over 40 volunteer opportunities in Brockport and the surrounding region for the 2017-2018 school year, upholding its mission statement to “Prepare civic minded leaders who possess the knowledge, skills and values to engage fully their communities.” So those who are busy on October 28, or just want to volunteer more, can take advantage of other opportunities to do so.

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