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Students, alumni volunteer to 'make a difference'

William & Mary students and alumni fanned out across the Williamsburg area Saturday to clean stables, inventory donations and create artwork with local children.

logoThe day of service was part of the national “Make a Difference Day,” sponsored USA WEEKEND Magazine. This year’s official Make a Difference day, touted as “a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors,” will take place nationally Oct. 23. As in years past, William & Mary hosted its own day of service a week early to avoid scheduling conflicts with homecoming weekend.

Approximately 200 students and members of the W&M Williamsburg alumni chapter participated in the day of service, conducting service projects with 18 local non-profit organizations. Some of the projects included cleaning at Dream Catchers Therapeutic Riding Center, assisting with the Harvest Festival at Matoaka Elementary School, packing food boxes with the Salvation Army and helping kids with disabilities create art with the Buddy Art program.

“The community organizations I talked to last week were really looking forward to having our students come and from the students I've talked to that went it sounds like they had a really great time,” said Kristina Snader, VISTA for Student & Community Engagement at William & Mary.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the national Make a Difference Day. Shaquille O’Neal and other NBA players have joined the effort this year, encouraging others to give back.

“Hopefully, people see me making a difference, and on Oct. 23, they will want to make a difference, too,” O’Neal said in a USA WEEKEND article.