Due to the efforts of several Mary Baldwin University (Mary Baldwin) students, over 100 students from Mary Baldwin and two local high schools will make up over half of the volunteers participating in the United Way’s “Make a Difference Day” on Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24, 1998.
“The Mary Baldwin students really organized the student population,” said Alice McDonald of the United Way. Approximately 175 people have agreed to participate in the projects and at least 100 of those volunteers were signed up through Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a student organization at Mary Baldwin.
Brooke Lawson and Greta Winn, both seniors at Mary Baldwin, are the project managers for SIFE’s “Make a Difference Day” involvement. SIFE is a relatively new organization on the campus of Mary Baldwin that consists of students from all majors who wish to create an awareness of business through community service. The group has already completed a book drive fundraiser, plan to have speaker visit the Mary Baldwin campus from a local bank and are in the planning stages for several more projects. There are about 600 chapters of SIFE on college campuses nationwide.
SIFE recruited other Mary Baldwin students and visited Robert E. Lee High School and Stuart Hall to enlist other young members of the Staunton community to become involved with “Make a Difference Day.” In addition to the Mary Baldwin students, an additional 60 volunteers from Lee and Stuart Hall signed up to spend two days working on different projects that will aid the community.
“Make a Difference Day” is a project coordinated by the United Way. The project matches the interest of volunteers from local business and the community with non-profit organizations who are continually growing in need of such support.
The 30 activities the students will lend a hand to range from bowling with children for Big Brothers/Big Sisters to cleaning kennels for the SPCA. Some of the projects include painting at New Directions and the Augusta Retardation Center, washing windows at a child care center, organizing material for the literary volunteers, sorting and organizing material donated to the Salvation Army, and preparing educational materials and washing vans for the Wildlife Center of Virginia.