Make A Difference Day set for Oct. 13

WARREN — Residents of Trumbull County will be able to make a difference in their community a little earlier this year.

The 16th annual Trumbull County Make A Difference Day, sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle, is scheduled for Oct. 13, two weeks earlier than in past years. Sue Shafer, community events coordinator for the newspaper, said she hopes the earlier date will enable better weather so more outdoor projects can be completed.

The second Saturday of October is the date for this year, but Shafer said the date may change again in future years as needed. As in the past, all volunteers are invited to a free picnic at the Warren Community Amphitheatre, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the annual group photo will be taken around noon.

The Tribune Chronicle began coordinating Trumbull County Make A Difference Day in 2003 with national support from the Points of Light Foundation and other partners. Recently, those national partners decided to move their resources in a different direction, Shafer said.

“Although there is no longer a national Make A Difference Day, the Tribune Chronicle has enjoyed partnering with all the amazing volunteers and project leaders who have made a tremendous difference in the county, and has decided to continue to coordinate Trumbull County Make A Difference Day,” Shafer said. “We believe it is an important opportunity for residents to continue to make a difference by hosting projects.”

Make A Difference Day is a day when residents give of themselves to make their community better. Over the years, thousands of volunteers have descended on all parts of Trumbull County with shovels, hammers, trash bags, paint brushes and more to work on projects ranging from home improvements to local cleanups to clothing and food drives.

In recent years, North-Mar Church in Warren has taken it upon itself to do dozens of projects, from oil changes for single mothers to cleaning the restrooms at local gasoline stations to house repairs and community cleanups.

Last year, more than 80 projects were done in Trumbull County by hundreds of volunteers.

The local event has been recognized with a state award and three national awards, including one for the 2017 Make A Difference Day. Trumbull County was among 13 national award winners announced earlier this year.

Trumbull County Make A Difference Day was recognized in 2003, the first year it was held in Trumbull County, and again in 2005 by USA Weekend Magazine and Points of Light as among the best in the nation.

Make A Difference Day was created in 1992 by USA Weekend magazine and soon became the world’s largest community service event. When the magazine stopped publishing in 2014, the Tribune Chronicle took over sponsorship of the local event.

“The volunteers and their willingness to clean up, donate, collect, sew, plan, sort, paint and reach out to make a difference for so many in our community are what make the day so special,” Shafer said. “We still want to carry on with it because there are still lots of opportunities to make a difference.”

Shafer said this year’s volunteer T-shirts are being designed and will be available for purchase soon. The deadline to register projects is Sept. 28. Registration forms have been mailed to previous participants, and the forms will run periodically in the newspaper and are available at the newspaper office, 240 Franklin St. SE, Warren.

For more information, contact Shafer at 330-841-1696.