Help a senior who is disabled, carve pumpkins with someone who needs a friend, collect food items or rake leaves – these are just some of things planned around the Morgantown community for 2009 national Make a Difference Day.

On Saturday, Oct. 31, “West Virginia University”: students and community members will come together in the spirit of volunteerism to make life a little easier for some. The WVU Center for Civic Engagement has joined forces with the United Way of Monongalia and Preston counties to organize 15 service projects throughout both counties.

“This is the seventh year WVU students and employees are joining millions of people across the country for Make a Difference Day, America’s largest day of volunteering,” said Kimberly Colebank, director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “It is a great time for everyone to work together for the good of our community.”

All volunteers will receive a gift and lunch, which will be provided by the Boston Beanery, before beginning their service in the community.

This year’s projects include:
• put winter clothing out and summer clothes away at Christian Help;
• rake leaves for fundraiser to benefit In Touch and Concerned at Morgantown Unity Manor;
• clean out flower beds, plant flowers, clean and reseal the decks, load software and more at Literacy Volunteers;
• help a disabled senior with various chores and home repairs;
• mulch the Child Development Center playground and help with food drive at Scott’s Run Settlement House;
• help with grounds clean up and beautification at Rock Forge Neighborhood House;
• clean up basement and prepare for Halloween party for Caritas House clients;
• pumpkin carving for Compeer;
• help a senior with landscaping and other chores;
• games and activities with nursing home residents at Sundale Nursing Home;
• clean and organize Bartlett House;
• install a new garage door for a senior;
• clean, paint and other chores at Raymond Wolfe Center
• prepare shoe box supply kits for local shelters and programs for Mental Health America;
• and help prepare Animal Friends’ Lucky’s Attic for winter.

Brett White, special events coordinator for the CCE, said it’s all about giving back to the community.

“We really strive to make it as easy as possible for students/faculty to get involved,” he said. “The projects are planned ahead of time and all you need to do is sign-up and show up ready to work.”

Last year, more than 200 volunteers mobilized on Make a Difference Day and helped weatherize homes for Morgantown families, Colebank said.

Currently, more than 15 different WVU student organizations and 300 volunteers are registered to participate in the efforts this year. WVU students who participate receive volunteer hours.

For more information, contact the CCE at 304-293-8761.



CONTACT: Brett White, Center for Civic Engagement

How has Make A Difference Day made a positive impact on your life?