In response to the Sept. 14 letter, "How about 'A Day of Giving in our Village'?" from Janet Yanos, the Volunteer Center celebrates Make a Difference Day, a national day of giving, every October. This year it is on Saturday, Oct. 22 at First United Church of Oak Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First United Church, 848 Lake St.
Make a Difference Day is a fall opportunity for community residents to help area organizations. Last year, organizations such as the Oak Park Food Pantry, Infant Welfare, Sarah's Inn, West Suburban PADS, Lions Club, Joni and Friends, The Senior Citizens' Center, Animal Care League, Circle Family Care and others filled the wish lists of their clients with items such as eyeglasses, new books and toys, craft and art supplies, new underwear, food, winter coats (collected and distributed by Century 21 Classic Properties), cellphones, used clothing and household items, durable medical goods and diabetic supplies and much more. It also was a day to donate blood through the Red Cross.
In turn, it has been an opportunity to look at the variety of volunteer opportunities available in the community (eg. the Cluster Tutoring program, YouthConnect, etc.), sign up for the Holiday Food and Gift Basket program, be a host family or conversation partner for students at the ELS Language Center at Dominican University, receive pedometers from the Oak Park Health Department and hear about the value of walking, or have your child's car seat inspected by the Oak Park Fire Department.
Start setting aside items for this special day!
Executive director, The Volunteer Center