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September 24, 2004 > Make Your Plans to 'Make A Difference' on October 23

Make Your Plans to 'Make A Difference' on October 23

by Seema Barman

Plans are underway for the City of Fremont's participation in Make a Difference Day 2004. The 14th annual national day of volunteering will be on Saturday, October 23rd, 2004. Once again, the City of Fremont Human Relations Commission is encouraging our diverse population to come together in volunteer service on Make a Difference Day to make our community an even better place to live and work.

The City of Fremont Human Relations Commission promotes this event in Fremont not only to assist non-profits, schools, parks, and needy individuals but also to facilitate unity in diversity through community service. Funding for this year comes from generous donations by the Federation of Indo-American Associations, Islamic Center of the East Bay, Mission San Jose Rotary, and Sisters of the Holy Family.

Last year, we had over 590 volunteers working on 26 projects throughout the city, including painting at the homeless shelter, refurbishing of the SAVE battered women's shelter, a coat drive, planting trees at local parks, improving school grounds, and collecting food for the needy. This year, with government agencies and non-profits facing extremely tight budgets, volunteer help is needed more than ever.

Volunteer Projects will be throughout Fremont, so volunteers can work close to their homes. Everyone can make a difference in their community by creating their own volunteer project or joining an existing one. Community groups, such as schools, neighborhoods, religious organizations, service organizations, or businesses can work together on a one-time or ongoing project. You can work as an individual or with your families to help a neighbor, improve your neighborhood, or benefit a local non-profit agency. Visit the Make a Difference Day web site at www.makeadifferenceday.com for project ideas, to sign up to help on an existing Fremont project, and to post your own project. Make sure to check back often, as new projects are being added every day. You can also call the Make a Difference Day Hotline for questions or project ideas.

A wide range of Make a Difference Day 2004 projects are in the works. "This year we are striving to have a wider range of representation from non-profits and diverse community groups in Fremont," said Seema Barman, City of Fremont Make a Difference Day Facilitator. Several volunteers groups are planning park and creek clean-ups, toys and clothing drives. We are seeing active involvement from different ethnic groups this year like the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Fremont Sai Center and the local Sikh community initiating individual food drives to help local service organizations.

Local Businesses see this as a great opportunity to give back to the community they serve. ClubSports of Fremont is organizing a winter coats drive. Signature Carpet is re-doing classroom floors at a local school. Meredith's Beauty Suite/Friends of Special Olympics are organizing a food drive and dance show for the developmentally disabled. Other organizations like Kaiser Permanente and Boston Scientific plan to be involved as well.

Make a Difference Day is a national day of volunteering, sponsored by the USA WEEKEND magazine, in partnership with The Points of Light Foundation. Paul Newman and his food company, Newman's Own, will donate 10 awards of $10,000 to a charitable cause to recognize outstanding volunteer accomplishments on October 23. The City of Fremont's sponsorship of Make-a-Difference Day does not constitute an endorsement of individual projects.

For more information about Make a Difference Day, visit the web site at www.makeadifferenceday.com. For more information about Make a Difference Day in Fremont call the hotline at 510-574-2099 or send an email to fremontdiffday@hotmail.com.

 
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