The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 20, 1996 · Page 45
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 45

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 20, 1996
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Page 45
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It's 'Make A Difference Year' in Rochester, N.Y., where dozens of projects are planned El Paso motorcycle clubs will gather clothes for the homeless Union City, Calif., volunteers will repair community fences MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY 8! DOING GOOD €USA WEEKEND '--s-' ft II POINTS OF LIGHT The reward from volunteering can be as simple as appreciating my health when I help someone who's sick. Or it can be as complex as connecting on a human basis. We need to remind ourselves that humans can be the most caring animal on the planet. You can do so many good things on Make A Difference Day. A community improvement, such as picking up trash or removing graffiti or planting in the park, will last long beyond Oct. 26. Connecting with another human you might never have met — in a retirement home, in a homeless shelter — could make a huge difference for that person. If you've never volunteered, now's the time to try it: Doing good on one day is better by leaps and bounds than not doing good at all. This is one day that can always mean something to you. I like finding projects I can be passionate about. When I first came back from Bosnia, I was in the hospital at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, D.C. I was getting tons of teddy bears from well-wishers. I heard about a girl in the children's cancer wing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, went over there and dropped off a teddy bear. The children there got to me. Watching them so full of life while fighting cancer made me decide that, instead of dividing my efforts among 100 different causes, I'd concentrate on a few, like St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis and the Make*A-Wish Foundation, so I could really make a difference. If you can find something you're passionate about, go for it. But your Make A Difference Day doesn't have to be a big deal. Remember: It took only a few minutes of extra effort to transform my life. E3 — As told to Monlka Guttman Counting down to Oct. 26 How people (and 'Klingons') in five communities are mobilizing • Aurora, III. —Next Saturday, Star Trek fan Jerry Murphy will don Klingon battle gear to collect food outside Wal-Mart and three grocery stores for Interfaith Food Pantry. (Note to non-'Trekkies": The Klingons are Star Trek's alien bad boys.) Murphy and his friends are members of four Illinois "ships," or clubs, combining their interests with their desire to help others. Says Murphy mischievously, "It's fun to be bad and do good." Murphy, business manager for a social service network, tells how Star Trek and Make A Difference Day meet: "Star Trek has taught us about being open-minded about people who are different. This is a chance to share our interests and do something for the community." • Maui, Hawaii — After years of neglect, one of this island's oldest parks soon will be fit for its name, Kamali'i — "children" in Hawaiian. Next Saturday, in a single day, the barren park will be transformed into a flower- festooned gathering place for kids, with new playground equip- 'Our community is small,' says Maui volunteer Diana McKeague, 'yet when we come together we can accomplish a lot.' ment and a fresh coat of paint on the graffiti-covered walls. "What good is a park where children have nowhere to play?" asks Diana McKeague of the Volunteer Center of Maui County, which is coordinating Make A Difference Day activities all over the island. When residents complained that the park was attracting more loiterers than children, the Kahului Rotary Club agreed to spruce it up. Among other projects planned: Students and retired federal workers will paint a mural on the outside of Haiku Elementary School, and volunteers will brighten the inside of two senior daycare centers. All told, more than 100 volunteers are expected. • Egg Harbor, NJ.—Sonia Guzman's fear for her children's lives is very real. Since spring there have been several assaults, 'Klingons' who care (clockwise from bottom): David Wirtz, Suzan Nlianowski, John Russell, Frank Waxman, Jerry Murphy Send in a Make A Difference Day entry form and help people in your community. Next page > will also be balloons, games and a clown for the kids, the day's message is clear. Says Guzman: "We don't want drugs anywhere near our children." Island cleanup: Jud Cunningham, toft, Caroline EgH, Diana McKeague, John Ibraoso a Shootout and a stabbing outside the apartment complex where Guzman, 35, a medical office manager, lives with Joey, 14, and Jillian, 2. She never leaves her toddler outside alone; her son must be home two hours before the town's 10 p.m. curfew for teens. "You never know what's going to happen when you leave your house," says Guzman, president of the Egg Harbor City Tenants Association. "When you have drug dealers around, they own the place." Next Saturday, Guzman and neighbors will take matters into their own hands by throwing a block party and anti-drug rally. City officials will be there to help launch a two-month education program at a local church. While there Hie He\viU, Iux<ii,-bdbed Ovurboab Coupon Projtct • Abilene, Texas — "There's something very contagious about volunteering," says Donna Albus, program coordinator for Abilene Clean and Proud. Albus, a city employee who works with community groups to improve the environment, says Mayor Gary McCaleb walked into her office five years ago waving a copy of USA WEEKEND, pointed to a story about Make A Difference Day and asked, "What can we do to get involved in this?" That year, about 50 volunteers rallied to help Albus clean up one of the poorest sections of the city. This year, organizers hope as many as 50,000 people, half the population, will take part. Make A Difference Day has become a tradition that has earned Abilene top honors three years running. On Oct. 26, Abilene goes global with its Make A Difference Day effort: The city's two sister cities, in Argentina and Greece, plan to take part by sprucing up their own towns. At home, residents will launch a host of projects, from refurbishing seniors' homes to planting 10,000 daffodil bulbs. Says coordinator Janet Ardoyno, "When they bloom in the spring, it will remind us it often takes time to see the results of doing good." • Detroit — Police Lt. John Autrey has a favorite weapon he uses to fight crime: teaching people to read. Autrey, 42, volunteers as a tutor with the Detroit Literacy Coalition. He's been doing it for 11 of his 23 years on the force. Says Autrey: "Reading empowers you. ... Continued on next page upoiib to ML't'iiy military f j USA WEEKEND • Oct. IS-20, IW6 6

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