Make a Difference Day Saturday
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 23, 2009 1:46 PM
Wayne County residents will join with other people across the nation Saturday for Make a Difference Day.
The event is the nation's largest volunteer service day. Last year, three million people participated in the event.
Several groups in Wayne County are doing projects this year.
A new project is "Give A Child A Smile" by SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out), a local nonprofit group.
The organization will collect new suitcases and duffle bags to give to more than 5,000 foster children in North Carolina. These are children who move into foster care and throughout the system with their belongings in trash bags, according to Olive Muhammad, in-home services supervisor.
SaySo is encouraging people to donate a duffel bag because it's easier for children to carry. The group will also accept donations to buy new bags and personal hygiene items to put into the bags. The goal is 2,500 new or like new suitcases/duffel bags. Donations will be accepted Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wayne Uplift Resource Association, 1906 Edgerton St. For more information, call 705-6533 or 222-7924.
Youths with Wayne County 4-H will collect blankets for Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross, who will deliver them to local fire departments to be given to victims of fires. The blankets may be new or gently used, said Summer Young, 4-H program associate. "We will fold, press if needed and package the blankets."
Donations may be taken to the 4-H office at the Wayne Center before Saturday. On that day at 10 a.m., they will be prepared to be taken to the Red Cross. Volunteers are needed to assist. Volunteers are asked to call the 4-H office at 731-1527.
Wayne County 4-H'ers are also collecting outdated and unwanted pills -- both prescription and over-the-counter -- Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Food Lion stores across the county.
At Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the Airman and Family Readiness Center has a special project that connects airmen deployed overseas to their loved ones at home. A photo of the parent is printed on a pillow case that remains with the child when daddy or mommy deploys. For babies, infant-size T-Shirts are printed and put on teddy bears. Photos of the family are also printed on a pillow case for the deployed airman to take with him or her as a reminder that there are those at home waiting for his safe return.
Pillow cases and T-Shirts may be taken to the RSVP office at Wayne Community College, Dogwood room 117, Friday before 1 p.m.
For more information, call Barbara Stiles, RSVP director, at 739-7011 or e-mail to email@example.com.
The base Child Development Center is also a Make A Difference Day site this year.
It needs a new chair rail installed in the hallways and old furniture removed and new furniture placed in 14 classrooms.
Goldsboro's Old Navy story will provide $1,000 to install the new chair rail and staff to help install it. About 100 volunteers are needed to complete the project in one day. For more information, call the Child Development Center.
The Three Eagles Rotary Club of Goldsboro is sponsored the Clothing for Kids project for Make A Difference Day. It started out of a conversation with an English as a Second Language teacher at Wayne Community College, Xiomarra Herrera. She shared information about her work with Latinos in the classes, saying that many of them don't have the means to heat their homes.
The Clothing for Kids project will provide warm clothing and bedding for these children.
The Rotary Club is collecting children's gloves, hats, mufflers, boots, pajamas, comforters, coats and sweaters. Anyone with items to donate should contact Barbara Stiles at 739-7011 to arrange a drop-off time.