More Make a Difference

Increase in numbers for annual day of giving back

Piotr Morawiec, News Editor

As part of Make A Difference Day, students volunteered for different projects, such as creating dog toys for homeless canines, crafting cards for ill children, and a lot of other projects. Make a difference day is all about giving back to the community. It is done annually, with a growing number of students who participate in it.

“Make a difference day is an annual event that Leyden does to reach out to the six communities that feed into Leyden. Typically we have 20-25 different projects that we work on. Some are on campus, some are off campus, and we split up usually based upon our teams or sponsors,” Student Activities and Community Outreach Director Mr. Tony Pecucci said.

“It’s been growing and growing every year, and it’s been a really good event, ” he added. And there’s a reason for that, the experience itself. It is a fun way to hang out with friends, and also have the satisfaction that you are doing something positive.

One of these experiences is the Veteran Stand Down, which is where students “basically put together amenity kits and then…deliver them to homeless veterans,” Mr.Peccucci said. In the kits, veterans find basics needs: toothpaste, deodorant, clothes, etc.

MADD2“I decided to volunteer because I’m part of a big community, and in our community we have a lot of homeless people. We got a lot of people who need help, and [we’re] helping those people a little bit more than usual,” said Jennifer Parker.

Some groups worked very rapidly and achieved their goal very quickly. The Veteran Standdown Group was one of the groups that worked so quickly that they transferred the volunteers to other projects such as the Cards for Hospitalized Kids.

At the Cards for Hospitalized Kids Project, volunteers were “making some cheerful message cards for children who are in hospitals…many of whom have terminal diseases,” according to Ms. Therese Landschoot. “We just want to pass along some cheerful and encouraging songs and tell them that we are thinking of them.”

Students also helped out at Elmwood Care where they played bingo with residents, and a fun game that included throwing bean bags, or any kind of ball, into a series of targets. The latter was focused on seniors with alzheimer’s and dementia.

“I love helping people, and it’s great to know that you made a difference in someone’s life,” Elizabeth Shelton, one of the volunteers, said.

Genine, a resident, said “This is a real treat for me.” She interacted with a lot of students and played the game with them.