By Amy Diestler ’14
Every year, Residence Hall Association participates in Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. For more than 20 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine and Points of Light have joined together to sponsor Make a Difference Day. It is a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Millions of volunteers from around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others.
On Saturday, October 26, 2013, 60 individuals from St. Norbert College participated in Make a Difference Day by going to homes of the elderly around the De Pere area and helping winterize their homes. Activities included raking leaves, cleaning gutters, and washing windows. The purpose of the event goes beyond assisting elderly in preparation for winter. The ultimate purpose is to foster a relationship between St. Norbert College students and the surrounding community. Twelve student groups participated, some of which included the National Residence Hall Association, Optimist Club, First Year Experience, Knights for Life, and Circle K. The groups were able to serve 20 homes. In addition to the home maintenance portion of the day, a few student groups assisted with the Halloween Ball at the Aging and Disability Resource Center. These groups included SERV Fellows, Psychology Club, and the Ballroom Dancing Club. The Ballroom Dancing Club actually had the opportunity to provide dance lessons during the event. Below is a brief reflection from Allison Parra ’16, a 2013 Make a Difference Day participant.
“I believe we provided much more to those we assisted than a clean yard. We were able to take the time to hear about their day, share a snack, and reciprocate a smile. The time together definitely had a positive impact on us and hopefully made their day just a little bit better. The snow will fall and hide the work we accomplished, but the time we spent together is a memory that can encourage us all to spend more of our time helping others.” 〜Allison Parra
Photo Credit: Marisa Strothenke and Rachel Maala