Make a Difference Day comes to campus

Keely Kennedy

Make a Difference Day is a nation-wide community service event held annually on the fourth Saturday of October. It is one of the largest annual single-days of service, encouraging participation from community members, college students and citizens across the country.

Companies and organizations often host specific volunteer opportunities in honor of this day, encouraging citizens to get out in their communities and volunteer.

Kent State will be participating on Oct. 22. This year’s volunteer locations include a downtown Kent clean-up, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and assisting with Knitting for Those In Need.

The annual event is coordinated through Kent State’s Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement, which also coordinates the Campus Kitchen and Super Service Saturdays.

“This is a good opportunity to dip your foot into volunteering,” Outreaach Program Officer Alexandra Ulbricht said.

Super Service Saturdays are held every Saturday morning and welcomes any student interested in volunteering.

On average, Kent State has around 1,000 active volunteers each semester. There are a variety of volunteering options for students.

“There is general volunteerism for any student who wishes to go volunteer for the day and there is a group volunteer form, which is a match program for student organizations to be matched with another organization based on interests and availability,” Ulbricht said.

There are multiple community partners and transportation is provided for the three-six sites students’ will work at throughout the day.

For students that are interested in taking a leadership role, there is the option of becoming a Student Service Leader (SSL).

An SSL is in charge of a specific group and participates in extended weekend excursions and alternative spring break trips. They also conduct icebreakers within their group and hold a brief reflection afterward about what they have done.

“Being an SSL is such a great experience because you get to connect with students and faculty, while helping the students learn and come accustomed to college life,” said Cara Ungar, a sophomore SSL.

Make a Difference Day will differ from the typical Super Service Saturday because this is a national movement with a more unified effort. It will offer larger capacity work sites, such as volunteering at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, to accommodate larger groups of participants.

Make a Difference Day is expected to have a large turn out of students participating.

Keely Kennedy is the student life reporter, contact her at [email protected].