More than 3,000 Saint Louis University students, faculty and staff have volunteered for the 2011 Make a Difference Day Saturday, Oct. 29.
The annual national day of service begins with a kick-off ceremony at Herrmann Stadium before volunteers fan out to more than 130 area schools, non-profit organizations, churches, individual homes and community facilities to spend the day painting, planting and cleaning up as well as providing activities at some locations.
Bobby Wassel, assistant director SLU's Center for Service and Community Engagement, has seen the volunteer numbers grow consistently each year.
"Last year, 2,778 SLU volunteers work in 121 sites in the community, making it the largest ‘Make a Difference Day' in the University's history," Wassel said. "This year we've seen both the numbers as well enthusiasm to share time, energy and friendship in the metro area continue to grow."
Nearly 40 volunteers from Saint Louis University's Service Leadership program at the John Cook School of Business will be adding their time, talent and energy to projects at Mullanphy Elementary School in the Shaw Neighborhood.
Junior Sam Hurteau, the current team leader for the John Cook School of Business Service Leadership program, is excited about the opportunity for their team to work together and make a meaningful contribution to the community.
"Doing service for the St. Louis community is such an amazing experience not only because I'm taking the opportunity to positively impact lives, but it is also even more fun and worthwhile to know that I am doing so in the company of my good friends from SLU. Giving of myself to others and sharing in that experience with friends is what makes our work so successful," Hurteau said.
Additional work sites for this year's Make a Difference Day include Gateway 180: Homelessness Reversed; Gene Slay's Boys Club; and the Naturally Occuring Retirement Community.