North Texas Daily

Campus organizations volunteer for ‘Make a Difference Day’

Campus organizations volunteer for ‘Make a Difference Day’

October 22
22:44 2009

By Graciela Razo / Senior Staff Writer –

More than 600 people from various UNT campus organizations will spend their Saturday morning helping children, the elderly and the environment as a part of the annual Make a Difference Day.

The Center for Leadership and Service is sponsoring the day at 8 a.m. on Oct. 24 beginning on the Library Mall where student clubs, fraternities, sororities and individuals will help 25 different places in the Denton community and around campus.

“It is going to be a big celebration to give students the opportunity to participate in service projects — big or small,” said Kenneth Oguejiofor, student coordinator for the VolUNTeer League.

USA Weekend Magazine began the event to get people around the nation involved in their communities through volunteerism — more than 3 million people nationwide volunteered for Make a Difference Day last year.

Oguejiofor, a psychology senior, said Saturday will be a day of festivity for everyone.

In addition to helping local non-profit organizations, students will also strengthen themselves as student groups, he said.

“It gives them a chance to see different parts of the community and bridge barriers by meeting people they may not have met if they hadn’t volunteered,” Oguejiofor said.

Amy Simon, director of the Center for Leadership and Service, said more than 900 people signed up to volunteer in October, and she expects many people will be making a big difference in the community that day.

“I think it is important for everyone to volunteer because we’re a part of a broader community,” Simon said. “When you’re a part of a student organization, the real outcome is getting connected with each other and other people.”

The Golden Key International Honor Society is one of the UNT groups volunteering. Members will spend the day working at the Nelson Children’s Center, a facility offering group and individual therapy for physically, emotionally, and sexually abused children.

In addition, the Golden Key chapters from Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University and Texas Woman’s University and UNT’s NAACP chapter will be lending their hands to help.

One group of volunteers will be doing maintenance repairs to the building while the other group holds a Field Day outside for the kids to enjoy activities and games.

At the end of the day, the children and volunteers will have lunch and an ice cream social together.

Golden Key president Maureen Nduta, a forensic science senior, said about 25 members from the UNT Golden Key chapter will be at the Children’s Center Saturday morning.

“Just by having students from the community come out, it’ll really help the kids there. It’s something different for them,” Nduta said. “And for us, helping is a way of possible growth because it’s a good way to meet people and learn group dynamics.”

Simon said she looks forward to a large turnout on Saturday and wants to see more days of volunteering with the entire UNT community.

“Hopefully it is not just a one-day event, and it leads to more people volunteering with their grounds and individually,” she said.

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