Volunteer Project Leader Applications Due Friday

By Mason Carr
Lemke Newsroom

Applications for volunteer project leaders are due Friday for Make A Difference Day, Oct. 20.

Make A Difference Day is expected to have 40 to 50 project leaders to plan and execute projects, as well as communicate with participating non-profit agencies, said Angela Oxford, Director of the Center for Community Engagement. Around 30 applications have been turned in so far, she said, although that number is expected to jump Friday.

If more project leaders are needed, community outreach programs on campus will have to recruit by contacting past project leaders, talking to students involved in the Volunteer Action Center, and setting up tables at campus events, Oxford said.

Make A Difference Day is the largest community service event in the nation, according to the HandsOn Network’s website, whose parent organization, Points of Light, sponsors the event with USA Weekend magazine.

In 2011, almost 1100 community members participated with over 40 local non-profit organizations in northwest Arkansas, said Kyeira Oyara, student specialist for the Center for Community Engagement. The day yielded around $82,000 of economic impact, a number determined by the Independent Sector, which calculates the value of a volunteer time. Arkansas’s volunteer value is $16.48 an hour, according to the Independent Sector’s website.

This year’s goals for Make A Difference Day are to have at least 1200 volunteers and at least 15 of the projected 40-plus projects focused on the working poor, Oxford said.

“I think it’s going to be a great day. It’s always a fun day. It’s exciting to see our volunteers and students work with volunteer agencies and help out,” Oxford said.