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Every year millions of Americans volunteer on Make A Difference Day, and thousands of entries are submitted for the awards competition. We wish we could honor them all! Here are 25 more examples of the Make A Difference Day giving that happened last Oct. 27:
Ballston Spa, N.Y.: Twenty volunteers with Saratoga County 4-H hosted a free day camp for 63 families of children with a deployed military parent.
Bozeman, Mont.: About 80 volunteers marshaled by the Montana Conservation Corps laid a concrete sidewalk in the front garden of a rest home and hosted a fall festival for the residents.
Chicago: Twin sisters Anita and Danita Ivory led seven other volunteers in cooking a chicken dinner for 53 women in transitional housing on the West Side.
Dickinson, Texas: The city partnered with League City, Texas City and Galveston County for a household hazardous waste collection. More than 1,100 people brought 46 tons of batteries, appliances, fuels, paints and tires to be recycled or incinerated.
Detroit: More than 600 volunteers — led by Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and supported by non-profits and the city government — boarded up 185 abandoned houses that harbored gangs and drug dealers in the Cody Rouge neighborhood.
Eagan, Minn.: About 120 volunteers with the non-profits Cheerful Givers and Kids ’n Kinship assembled 3,001 toy-filled gift bags that food banks and shelters will give to parents who can’t afford birthday presents for their children.
Eastchester, N.Y.: Nick Katsoris, author of the Loukoumi children’s books, partnered with the National Philoptochos Society, the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, for Make A Difference With Loukoumi Day. In the week leading up to the big day, an estimated 20,000 kids nationwide attended readings of Loukoumi’s Good Deeds, then pledged to do a good deed on Oct. 27.
Frederick, Md.: About 80 Care Wear volunteers crocheted, knitted, sewed or stuffed 2,622 items for hospital patients.
Garden City, Kan.: Sixty youths from the Neighborhood Improvement Project, a volunteer service program founded as an alternative to street gangs, worked four hours to build a community garden for the 3,000 residents of a trailer park.
La Crescenta, Calif: Sixty-three volunteers with the non-profit Aid Africa put together 1,200 “birthing kits” for midwives in Uganda.
Lansdale, Pa.: Forty-five Suzuki violin students, ages 4-18, played half-hour concerts for residents of six nursing homes.
Lincolnville, Maine: About 100 volunteers pulled an old one-room schoolhouse across a road, where it will be used as a library.
Marietta, Ohio: Volunteers with the senior service program RSVP joined forces with auto-tech students at Washington State Community College to winterize the cars of 61 seniors.
Ogden, Utah: Congregational United Church of Christ worked with other churches and organizations to serve a sloppy joe dinner to 900 needy people. Hairstyling students gave 70 free haircuts, and 1,400 clothing items were handed out.
Oswego, N.Y.: In a county with no homeless shelter, Emily Bradshaw, 12, and seven family members packaged 280 bags of community-donated toiletries for the homeless.
Parsippany, N.J.: At a health center for the needy, 25 Delta Dental of New Jersey volunteers assisted dentists in providing free care to 49 patients, while 12 other Delta volunteers worked on a Habitat for Humanity house.
Pineville, La.: Forty volunteers mowed and weeded at an abandoned African-American cemetery.
Raleigh-Durham area, N.C.: McDonald’s owner-operators rallied 150 volunteers who cleared a horse trail, painted at a YMCA, cleaned a school, and more.
San Bernardino, Calif.: Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire led volunteers from Wells Fargo, California State University and elsewhere in putting the final renovation touches on a foreclosed house, readying it for new owners.
St. Augustine, Fla.: St. Johns Housing Partnership enlisted 200 volunteers to clean up and repair the homes of 15 families in need.
Scarsdale, N.Y.: Through her non-profit, Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Colgate University senior Maggie Dunne led a month-long national collection of over 3,000 pounds of coats, boots, sneakers and books for Lakota kids on South Dakota’s impoverished Pine Ridge Reservation.
Seward, Neb.: In a “Stuff the Cart” event at four stores, the Seward Woman’s Club collected 1,600 pounds of food for four pantries, and hundreds of clothing items for a rescue mission. Gov. Dave Heineman, who proclaimed Make A Difference Day in Nebraska, presented the proclamation to the club as the representative of all projects statewide.
Silverton, Ore.: The Silverton Senior Center dispatched a 32-volunteer Fix-It Squad to do yardwork and home repairs for 15 needy homeowners.
Tucson, Ariz.: On Make A Difference Day and the next Saturday, about 800 student volunteers coordinated by the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management worked at 21 non-profits or schools, cleaning streets and parks, painting a mural, covering graffiti, and more.
Winnetka, Ill.: The Volunteer Center of Northeast Metro Chicago marked its 10th Make A Difference Day with a collection of 7,135 items — sports equipment, glasses, clothes, bikes, garden tools, school supplies — for 16 non-profits.