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Mount Union Honored for Make a Difference Day Service Projects

April 16, 2008

Mount Union College’s Make a Difference Day programming was recognized as a semi-finalist by Make a Difference Day Ohio, a state competition to honor schools for their efforts with Make a Difference Day projects. In 2007, Mount Union College students participated in service-learning and community service projects in the Alliance community and surrounding area from October 22-27 in honor of Make a Difference Day.

Since 2000, Mount Union has participated in the national Make a Difference Day celebration. An initiative created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October. Mount Union has expanded the event to last a full week, giving students the opportunity to serve in a variety of capacities.

The events kicked off Sunday when members of Sigma Theta Epsilon volunteered at First Christian Church for Treats From the Ark. Students were busy Monday with the LS 100 Canned Food Drive. Tuesday, Students for Environmental Awareness completed a service project at the John T. Huston-Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center during which participants painted a pole barn located in the Nature Center's new garden area.

Wednesday was the annual Take Back the Night rally against domestic violence sponsored by Alpha Chi, Association of Women Students, YWCA and Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter.

Thursday, volunteers from the Midwest Campus Compact Citizen Scholar Fellows (M3C) Program helped with the Alliance Neighborhood Center Halloween Party, playing games and doing seasonal crafts. Members of Alpha Phi Omega visited residents at McCrea Manor and played Bingo.

On Friday night, students from the Mount Union College and Walsh University M3C programs joined together to make crafts with the residents at McCrea Manor, and on Saturday they threw a Halloween Party. Also on Saturday, Phi Kappa Tau, removed graffiti in several local mini-parks and Alpha Delta Pi helped out with Rodman Public Library's Halloween Party. Saturday morning Helping Hands Services, as part of a Mount Union communication class, escorted area students to the Great Lakes Science Center and numerous area colleges to explore career and education options. Both days saw Alpha Phi Omega and M3C members at the Akron Zoo for the annual Boo at The Zoo festivities. Students braved the cold and the rain to hand out treats to area children at the zoo.

Make a Difference Day is a national, annual event that provides an opportunity for individuals to volunteer and make a difference in their local communities. The College's Make a Difference Day participation is sponsored by the Office of Service-Learning and Community Service. Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service-learning and community service, was glad to see an increase in the number of projects completed and students participating in Make A Difference Week. 'This is thanks to the work of our Ohio Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTAs over the past two years,' she said. 'We saw a lot of student organizations pitching in that we had not worked directly with before and that is great.'

“All of the many volunteers helped make this program successful, and without their help, we would not have been a semi-finalist in the competition,” said Jennifer Scott, OCC VISTA community and collaboration service leader.

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