The day is the largest community service effort in the nation, rallying corporations, government leaders, charitable organizations and everyday Americans into action on one day. On Make a Difference Day 2005, a record three million volunteers participated nationwide and an estimated 28 million people-in-need benefited.
Last year, UTPA students, faculty and staff spent this day of volunteerism creating a positive change in the lives of children living in Rio Bravo, México through a project co-sponsored by the UTPA Student Leadership Academy and the Mexican Border Children's Fund. Seventy-five UTPA student volunteers and nine faculty/staff members spent the day helping to improve facilities of the Manuel Gonzalez Elementary School in Rio Bravo by painting the exterior of two of its buildings and the interior of eight classrooms.
For this year’s Make a Difference Day project, sponsored by the UTPA Student Leadership Academy, volunteers will spend Oct. 28 assisting the Boys & Girls Club of Alamo/San Juan by providing needed materials and school supplies, improving the club’s facilities, and involving the students and staff in the project. Volunteers will work together to paint the gymnasium and rooms, install bathroom plumbing, and liven up the outdoor basketball court. Many student organizations on campus are sponsoring donation drives to collect school and craft supplies as well as sporting equipment for the children.
The Student Leadership Academy has also received local support for this year’s project. Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Matt’s Cash & Carry, and Sherwin-Williams have donated many supplies to contribute greatly to the success of the project.
If you would like to get involved by collecting items or by volunteering your time, contact Amy Martin, Student Leadership Academy director, at 956/381-2260 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Make a Difference Day, call the Make a Difference Day hotline at 1-800-416-3824. More information and a national databank of local project plans are available at the Web site www.makeadifferenceday.com.