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Last updated: September 06. 2013 5:56PM - 21 Views

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MELISSA MACKEY

Staff Writer

Staining an outdoor building at Recreation Unlimited. Painting a room at the Park Avenue Senior Center. Cleaning the Arts Castle kitchen. Restoring the trail at Camp Lazarus.

These activities are just some from a long list of volunteer opportunities available from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 22 for Delaware County’s Make a Difference Day, which is part of a national day of helping others.

Delaware County’s volunteer day, which has grown exponentially over the years, is coordinated by Connections Volunteer Center.

Starting five years ago with fewer than 50 volunteers, Connections hopes to attract about 400 people this year, said Margie West of Connections. Last year, more than 350 people came out to help, she said.

“This is an excellent opportunity for volunteers of all ages to give back to our community,” West said. “It’s a great way to make a difference in just one day.”

This year’s event kicks off with a light breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds Junior Fair Building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Volunteers will be given their assignments and sent out to complete them. At the end of the event, volunteers report back on their accomplishments and the volunteer work hours are tallied.

Connections also is continuing its partnership with the Council for Older Adults (COA) to provide assistance to clients needing with outdoor and home projects for seniors.

Volunteers also are encouraged to plan projects for specific or special needs and register those projects with Connections.

About 60 seniors and 28 nonprofit agencies have requested projects, West said.

A sample list includes:

- Staining an outdoor building at Recreation Unlimited

- Deep cleaning and organizing of kitchen at The Arts Castle

- Painting a room at the Park Avenue Senior Center

- Installing rubber padding on the infant playground at Liberty Community Center

- Helping with store operations at the Common Ground Free Store

- Doing trail restoration at Camp Lazarus

- Planting and cleaning up at the Monet Garden

- Working on picnic tables and trails at Alum Creek state Park

- Painting and organizing at the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities

- Painting the lines on the playground at Willis Intermediate School

A new opportunity for those not wanting to roll up their sleeves in the garden or on a nature trail is making sleeping bags and health kits for the homeless, West said.

A shoe drive, Soles4Souls, is new this year. New or gently used shoes of all types will be accepted during registration and during the morning. Shoes are gathered and sent to those in need around the world.

All volunteers are asked to fill out a registration form on Connection’s website at delawarecountyvolunteers.org or call 740-363-5000. This year’s major sponsors are the COA, Verizon Wireless and Educational Sales Management.

Make a Difference Day, created by USA Weekend Magazine, is observed annually on the fourth Saturday in October with millions of Americans serving on a single day in their own communities to help change the world.


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