PORTLAND, Ore. — Two volunteer groups from the state of Washington were honored by Make A Difference Day for the service they provided to their communities.
Make a Difference Day, one of the largest annual days of service in the country, fell on October 28 last year. It is supported by TEGNA, which owns KGW, as well as the Arby’s Foundation and Points of Light. They award 13 national award winners and one All Star winner each year.
The national award winners each receive a $10,000 grant from the Arby's Foundation. The All Star winner receives a $10,000 grant from the TEGNA Foundation.
This year's winners were selected from nearly 800 projects.
Here's a look at the two national award winners from Washington:
Wenatchee Valley Make a Difference Day (Wenatchee, Washington)
Wenatchee has organized projects for Make A Difference Day since it started in 1992. About 8,000 volunteers come out on the day to participate in hundreds of service activities. The town’s slogan for Make A Difference Day is “See a Need. Do a Good Deed.” Projects in 2017 included a local doctor encouraging others to become organ donors, lawyers offering services for a Veterans Will Clinic, and volunteers collecting warm clothing for kids in need. The town also had a flag football game that raised $1,700 for flood victims in Houston.
StreamTeam (Battle Ground, Washington)
“StreamTeam” is Clark County Public Utility’s team of environmental activists. The group is comprised of one paid employee and six AmeriCorps staffers, and that group mobilizes about 1,000 volunteers all year to tend to streams and plant trees from the group’s on-site nursery. Their aim is to improve air and water quality and check for erosion. The group starts its planting season on Make A Difference Day and ends it with Earth Day in April. This season 200 volunteers planted 850 native trees near a stream on privately owned property. “The volunteers reflect our community,” said organizer Ashley King. “They are all ages. Some families brought babies in carriers.”
Here's a look at all the winners:
All Star Winner
Make A Difference Day Delaware County, OH
More than 400 volunteers visited 53 homes of senior homeowners in Delaware County, Ohio to complete much-needed outdoor chores, including leaf raking, window washing, garden clean up, hedge trimming and much more to maintain their independence and pride in their homes. Not only do volunteers serve older adults at their homes, older adult volunteers take on leadership roles in the local projects. Coordinated by the Connections Volunteer Center, this annual MDDAY project added an additional launch site in Sunbury, in the eastern part of the county.
13 National Award Winners
- “Made for More” in Ashburn, AL
- “#Dare2TuTu” in Truckee, CA
- “Learn, Love, Teach – Florida’s Aspiring Educators Packing Comfort for Their Future Students” across the state of Florida
- “FreeBikes4Kidz” in Minneapolis, MN
- “Like a Girl Empowerment Bootcamp” in Lincoln, NE
- “Hilton-Parma Make A Difference Day” in Hilton, NY
- “Chipping for Charity” in Ocean Isle Beach, NC
- “Trumbull County Make A Difference Day” in Trumbull County, OH
- “Pittsburgh Champions Make A Difference” in Pittsburgh, PA
- “Mitzvah Day” in Columbia, SC
- “McKinney Make A Difference Day” in McKinney, TX
- “StreamTeam” in Battle Ground, WA
- “Wenatchee Valley Make A Difference Day” in Wenatchee, WA