On Oct. 27, upwards of 150 people, consisting of individuals from the Linfield community and surrounding area, joined together and set out to serve the greater community, taking part in the annual Make a Difference Day—the national day of helping in the U.S. that was created by USA Weekend Magazine.
“Make A Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others. It is a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Monique Ellefson, VISTA student engagement coordinator.
After an 8 a.m. check in, the event began with a kick-off in the Fred Meyer Lounge.
Once in their volunteer groups, the participants traveled to their project sites around Yamhill County to serve at a number of different organizations and agencies, such as Salvation Army, McMinnville Senior Center, Habitat for Humanity Restore, YCAP and the McMinnville coat drive to name a few.
“This year we have a bunch of new sites that we’re very excited about, and a great deal of families and groups signed up,” said sophomore Andra Kovacs, director of communication and publicity for Change Corps, in an email. “We are just now beginning to build solid sustainable partnerships with, for example, Hearthland Sanctuary and the McMinnville Center for Community Subsistence.”
According to Kovacs, the already strong support for Make a Difference Day in the Linfield community is continuing to grow.
“We continue to see more and more interest in service at Linfield, and with the past two service days, we have had more people registered than we have spots,” Kovacs said. “In Change Corps, we’re continually looking to improve, and so far we have really harnessed that goal.”
One volunteer group that made that goal possible, including junior Kristen Ursino, member of MEChA with LCLA/MEChA, served Miller Woods.
“There were about 20 of us to help out in the green house and clean up Miller Woods. We helped fill containers to plant acorns, which would become oak trees, planted plants native to the Pacific Northwest and helped to recycle soil, ” Ursino said. “Overall, it was a great experience because I was able to get off campus to help out in the community.”
“Engaging with your community is such an essential part of life and can really change a persons’ college experience in a positive and beautiful way,” Kovacs said.
For more information about Make a Difference Day and getting involved, contact Monique Ellefson at firstname.lastname@example.org.