SUNY New Paltz students partake in compassionate service for Make A Difference Day

NEW PALTZ – State University of New York at New Paltz students made a significant impact on the successful Make A Difference Day, Friday, Oct. 21.

Mike Patterson, director of the Office of Student Activities and Union Services, and Erica Wagner, service learning coordinator at the Career Resource Center co-organized New Paltz’s student-volunteer constituency for this nation-wide annual event that has grown over the years to become the country’s largest community service endeavor.

“This is a valuable program. It’s important to partner with people and organizations in the community and to do good things. Our motto is “be a do-gooder.” It doesn’t matter how much or how little–our students really do make a big difference,” said Patterson.

According to Patterson, 75 New Paltz student-volunteers collected 530 personal care items and $343 in cash during Make A Difference Day campus drive Friday, Oct. 21. All items and money were donated to Queen’s Galley in Kingston. One hundred and fifteen students were stationed at 10 sites throughout Ulster County engaged in a variety of service activities on Sunday, Oct. 23.

At Little Dog Orchard service site, students picked eight boxes of apples and pressed 30 gallons of cider which were donated to Queen’s Galley, and the 250 pounds of remaining apple pomace were donated to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Students based at Brooks Farm Project weeded 600 feet of rows of berries and spread 12 yards of mulch.

Students volunteering for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Trees for Tribs program planted 160 shrubs and trees along the Wallkill River to help stem erosion.

“New Paltz students did such a great job that the landowners wrote a letter, asking us to extend their appreciation to the SUNY New Paltz student volunteers for selflessly spending their time in helping to preserve the banks of the Wallkill River,” said Laura Heil, Riparian Buffer Specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program.

Another group of students who volunteered at the New Paltz Child Care Center repainted classrooms, hallways and doorways. Other service sites included Boughton Place, the international training center for psychodramatists, located in Highland where students painted; the John Burroughs Association where students helped to build trails and the New Paltz Community Improvement Team where they assisted with street clean up.

Make A Difference Day is held annually on the fourth weekend of October. Created by USA Weekend magazine in 1992, the day devoted to service galvanizes corporations, political leaders, organizations, college students and individuals to make measurable contributions of service on this day. Every year 3 million partake in this global day of action and the College is proud of its students for actively engaging and living the ideals of inclusion, community participation and service in such a tangible and significant way