Student volunteers from across Cal State East Bay will lend a helping hand to the city of Hayward Oct. 22 during national Make A Difference Day.
“This event gives volunteers the opportunity to experience what it’s like to help somebody,” said Marguerite Hinrichs, director of student affairs. “To be of service is the greatest gift a human being can give.”
Make a Difference Day is held annually on the fourth Saturday of October. One million volunteers across the United States have traditionally participated in the event since it was founded in 1990 by USA Weekend magazine. The event is the largest community service effort in the nation, and members of the CSUEB campus community have participated every year since 2003.
In previous years, student volunteer groups were assigned to different organizations throughout the East Bay. This year, the university will team up with only one organization, Keep Hayward Clean and Green. KHCG is a task force with a mission to enhance the visual appearance and preserve the environment of Hayward.
For the event, 200 to 300 students and staff will meet for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on campus to plan for the services they’ll provide. Afterward, students will divide into equal sized groups and meet at the Hayward Public Library. Mayor of Hayward Michael Sweeney '72 will make an appearance and pledge his support to the volunteers. From there, leaders of KHCG will provide students with tools and assign each group specific tasks to conquer.
Some of the assigned duties this year include trash pick-up and graffiti removal. At noon, students will meet in the multipurpose room of the New University Union, where food and music will be provided. Community guest speakers also will attend to provide further motivation to the students.
Members of the Black Student Union, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), fraternities and sororities such as Sigma Sigma Sigma, have signed up to do their part for the community. All students are welcome to participate by signing up through the registration link before Oct. 14.
Felisitas Medina, a senior majoring in hospitality and tourism, will participate and help coordinate the event.
“I’m excited that we’re going to have all the students in the same city this year, working together and being closer to each other,” Medina said. “Community service is close to my heart, and this day will be important to help clean up and make a better neighborhood.”