The 29th Make A Difference Day in North Central Washington is Saturday, Oct. 26. The largest day of community service in the world is open to anyone who wants to make the place they live a little better.
Is that you?
This year will draw thousands of like-minded people to join hands in over 70 projects and events in the Greater Wenatchee Valley, Waterville, Malaga, Entiat, Orondo, Quincy and up to the Leavenworth-Lake Wenatchee area.
A complete list of all these projects — which span the spectrum of meeting needs for kids, the elderly, the homeless, the disabled, the environment, animals, and health — is at wenatcheemkdd.com.
What can you do?
Check out the map that The Wenatchee World publishes on Oct. 25 and plot out your day.
Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee is an information hub and collection point for many projects from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can see a recycling machine that turns glass into sand, and you can recycle your own glass for a donation of 25 cents per item, with proceeds going toward buying another recycling machine.
Pybus is also where you can support foster parents, AmeriCorps volunteers, families of kids having emergency hospitalization, kids in after school programs, and people with mental illness — all with a simple donation. It’s a place to refill the Coyote Closet for needy families, donate plastic grocery bags to make mats for the homeless, donate to the Humane Society, and donate to the Bruce Transitional Housing and PowerHouse Ministries pantries.
Adults can learn to be an ESL tutor or learn about the Green Bag Project or Packing Friendship. You can even get one garden tool sharpened free by WSU Master Gardeners from noon until 2 p.m.
Where can you go? To the Wenatchee Community Center to join hands with Parque Padrinos and others installing Red Cross smoke detectors and cleaning up a neighborhood in south Wenatchee. You can make papel picado and listen to the Washington state poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna. There is a Chelan County PUD free LED lightbulb giveaway to residents of the neighborhood and much more at this location.
You can get out and mend and build trails with the Land Trust, refill area food banks for the holidays, and donate diapers and cash to help families in need through the Diaper Drive at multiple locations. You can help a senior or disabled person stay in their home by doing a small project. Winter clothing, eye glasses and blankets, just about anything can be donated to help needy youth and homeless groups.
Kids can get a free bike in East Wenatchee. Anyone can clean up Ohme Gardens, Haven of Hope, Our House, Mission House, Valley View Cemetery or paint the Community Action Council. It is easy to place “Only Rain Down the Drain” signs on storm drains with the city of East Wenatchee.
You can see the work of Habitat for Humanity or donate nearby at the Lighthouse. Help out Wenatchee’s own Makspire Foundation in a number of ways and get your face painted, too. Makenna Schwab even has a “fry truck” to feed you at her project! You can sew a Christmas stocking for CASA’s foster kids, or donate fabrics and sew at the Days for Girls humanitarian project in East Wenatchee.
It costs nothing to listen to piano students give recitals at area nursing homes, attend a class on Parenting with Love and Logic or join a work party at Grace Lutheran Church to make sleeping mats. From your own home, you can write a story about a teacher who has made a difference in your life and submit it to be in a fund-raising book which provides scholarships.
Volunteers of all ages can get their hands dirty. Work projects also include Malaga’s new park, Orondo’s horse rescue, Entiat’s downtown, Douglas Creek and West Foster Creek in Waterville, and along the river in Leavenworth. You can spend the day — and even the night — at both the Camp Fire and YMCA camps at Lake Wenatchee and winterize the youth camps.
Back in Wenatchee, the Monster Bash by SAGE invites families to party all day in its parking lot with trunk-or-treats and fun games.
You can stop in the middle of the day, make a donation, and eat a delicious barbecue lunch at People’s Bank on Mission Street in Wenatchee. Sports mascots Walt and Coyote will add to the fun. Wellness Place will benefit when you attend the Wenatchee Wild’s 7 p.m. hockey game. YWCA’s annual Hallow Queens Drag Show will end your big day with its fundraiser at the Wenatchee Center. Be sure to bring a non-perishable donation to the show, too.
Everyone is invited to participate and every effort truly makes a difference. Remember, our motto is “see a need and do a good deed!”
Laurel Helton and Margie Kerr are coordinators for Make a Difference Day in the Wenatchee area.