More than 100 Students to Make a Difference on Saturday, Oct. 24.
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Sept. 30, 2009) -- On Saturday, Oct. 24, more than 100 students will descend upon the streets of Plattsburgh.
Chances are, community residents will be glad to see them arrive.
Every one of these SUNY Plattsburgh students will be taking part in National Make-a-Difference Day, the nation's largest day of service, volunteering their time at eight non-profit organizations and throughout the Plattsburgh community. Students of varying ages, nationalities and backgrounds will take part in this large-scale effort, coordinated through the college's Center for Student Involvement and organized by students eager to make a difference in the community they call home.
The projects scheduled for that day range from setting up and staffing the haunted house at the City Recreation Department's Paranormal Expo (proceeds from which will be donated to the Interfaith Food Shelf) to painting and repairing the porch of an elderly cancer survivor.
Twenty students will help paint the gymnasium at the Salvation Army's Plattsburgh Community Center, a project Laurence Goodman, captain of the Plattsburgh Salvation Army Corps, said he has needed someone to do for a long time. Other SUNY students will work at the Interfaith Food Shelf, cleaning and stocking shelves and taking part in the Food Shelf's inventory of non-perishable food items. The North Country Cultural Center for the Arts will be assisted by students from the college in setting up the historic Strand Theatre for its annual "Arms & Legs" art auction, one of the organization's most important fundraisers.
A work crew of between 10 and 12 students will perform its service at Meadowbrook
Nursing Home, joining in activities like playing cards and creating arts and crafts
projects with the senior citizens who reside there.
Another group of students will play similar roles at Evergreen Valley Nursing Home and help with some necessary outdoor maintenance work there. Still other volunteers will work on cleaning the yard at the Senior Citizen's Council of Clinton County's property on North Catherine Street. Individual senior citizens who put in requests for work to be done on that day will also be personally aided by SUNY Plattsburgh students.
That night, a special free community meal will conclude the day's activities at the college's Algonquin Dining Hall on Rugar Street. Organized in the same manner as a meal at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen or the community meal hosted every Wednesday by the Trinity Episcopal Church, volunteers will assist in preparing the food, hosting the dinner, and cleaning up afterwards. The meal will provide an opportunity for area individuals in need of food to enjoy a hot dinner at no cost. Special support for this dinner is being provided by Chartwells Dining Services, the college's food service provider, and SUNY Plattsburgh's College Auxiliary Services.
Student volunteers for this day come from a number of sources, including SUNY Plattsburgh chapters of national fraternities and sororities, the Office of International Student Services, SUNY Plattsburgh sports teams, various student clubs and organizations on campus, and students unaffiliated with any particular group but interested in making a difference in their community. Largely responsible for coordinating these activities is the college's Project H.E.L.P. (Hands Engaged in Linking People), an organization designed to provide students with volunteer experiences that meet the needs of the Plattsburgh community.
Created by USA WEEKEND magazine, Make-A-Difference Day has grown to become America's largest single day of service. In 2008 alone, 3 million people volunteered in thousands of projects throughout the nation's cities and towns. This year, on the 19th annual Make-A-Difference Day, SUNY Plattsburgh students will ensure that Plattsburgh is one of those communities benefiting from this unique service undertaking.
For more information on SUNY Plattsburgh's work on Make-A-Difference Day, contact the Center for Student Involvement at 518-564-4830.