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October 22, 2008 > This is the year to make a difference

This is the year to make a difference

Many people feel helpless when confronted with seemingly overwhelming problems confronting cities, states, the nation and humanity in general. Indifference and ideological struggles often obscure and confuse even the most elemental problems and solutions on which almost everyone would agree. Legislators, far removed from local concerns, are criticized for doing little to address the needs and desires of their constituents. Make A Difference Day is a national response that emphasizes citizen action to get things done. Make A Difference Day was initiated in 1990 by the USA Weekend magazine to encourage citizens to volunteer individually or in groups for projects to help make their community a better place to live. This annual worldwide event takes place on the fourth Saturday in October. Over 3 million people participated in Make A Difference Day last year. This one day massive volunteer effort highlights not only what can be accomplished during a single 24-hour period, but the year round effects of projects - short and long term - that make a difference in communities across the nation.

People of all walks of life will spend Saturday, October 25 to "Make A Difference." Not only does this day provide a means to consolidate individual efforts, but it also teaches younger generations about the value of giving, helps develop leadership skills, enjoy team spirit and form a bond of partnership with their community. As motivation for people to volunteer in their neighborhood, Newman's Own, a supporter of Make a Difference Day, offers a reward of $10,000 to 10 selected projects.

This year, over 20 projects have already been planned in Fremont. One of these efforts sponsored by Math Science Nucleus is to enhance a butterfly meadow at Tyson Lagoon (1999 Walnut Ave). Planters that attract native butterflies and hummingbirds will be installed. More information about this project is available at Math Science Nucleus. Call (510)790-6284 or visit http://msnucleus.org.

Additional projects listed at the Make A Difference Day website include a wide variety of activities:

Gardening at Iris Garden at Shinn Historical Park and Arboretum
Yard Cleanup for a Fremont Senior
Lake Elizabeth Clean Up
Planting Trees at Parkmont Elementary
Cards for the Troops
Health & Wellness - Healing powers of the BREATH
Battery and CFL Home Pick Up & Recycling Program
Clean up and beautify Millard Elementary
Clean up Area of Three Canyons Trail in Fremont
Native Plants Give Away
Clean up and Planting on Roberts Ave.
Food Drive
Collect Halloween costumes for children at domestic violence shelter
Household battery collection
Toy Drive
Update and Upgrade Preschool and Toddler Facility
Gardening at the Niles Rose Garden
Dog Wash FundRaiser for the Tri-City Animal Shelter i
Pennies for Peace
Family Fun Day for UNICEF
Front and Backyard general clean up

To volunteer for a Make A Difference Day project, visit www.usaweekend.com/diffday/ and check out the DAYtaBank or call your city offices to find what they have planned for this special day.

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