The Difference a Day Makes

Here at Leyden we are regularly asked to be kind, find our passion, and commit to excellence and what better way to show all three aspects than by participating in Make a Difference Day? The annual, nation-wide service day in the Leyden community included over 600 volunteers and 30 projects.  This event, now in its ninth year, was held on Saturday, October 21 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.“I really like helping people, we got to paint the halls of the retirement home and even play bingo with the elderly in a retirement home,” said Arely, a volunteer.Another volunteer, Kasandra Perez, spoke about the rewards of participating. “I thought it was a good experience to see the people play that I have never seen before.”  Perez reffed the special olympics game.

Jenny Alcarez has been a volunteer for three years, “My first experience I cleaned up a park, this year with the special olympics I got to see how everyone just truly wants to be treated the same and not differently”.  

Within every community touching Leyden Township students were able to work at various locations, such as different parks, libraries, and nursing facilities. Jenny spoke on what made her want to volunteer. “We went with our basketball team, and it was fun to experience more team bonding.”  A special project that took place was packing food for the natural disaster that hit Puerto Rico. It gave students the opportunity to take action where it is most needed. These projects can expand out of our community to help people world wide.

Mr. Frank Holthouse, Director of Careers and Community Outreach, leads the Make a Difference Day effort. “It gives students a chance and choice to find what their passion is,” he said, “and also for your generation to take ownership throughout the community.” He describes this day as a “giant wave of good, kind acts.”

Arely learned a lesson from participating. “It made me realize that helping someone wasn’t a hard thing to do or as hard as people think it is. In the end you are really the one who benefits from the experience.” Everyone can volunteer on their own time with any other project, but this day collectively brings over 600 people together to make a difference.

“Make a Difference Day made me want to volunteer more so I could see how I could help as well as view other people in their own environments,” said Perez. It is shown that after helping others and contributing your work to a good do project, it is more likely that you will have a happier day and feel like a better person. It is as easy as filling out a survey, so if you missed this year’s Make a Difference Day, don’t let next years pass you up!