Commit to making difference

Make a Difference Day is celebrated each year on the fourth Saturday of October, which is tomorrow.

If you have a chance to participate, even in a small way, do it.

If you can’t, pick another day to make the effort.

Our community is better off because of people willing to help someone in need. Sometimes the opportunity presents itself in the form of a request. Other times, that help is available because of volunteers.

For more than two decades, USA Weekend magazine and Points of Life, a national organization focused on mobilizing volunteers, have promoted Make a Difference Day.

Together, the organizations market the program and encourage participation by offering monetary awards and recognition. And while those honors help keep the effort going, the organizations also recognize that many people participate “for goodness’ sake.”

From Altoona and nearby areas, two groups registered their activities on this year’s Make A Difference Day website, at

As it’s done in the past, the Brian Morden Foundation will pack Halloween treats for children with cancer who won’t be able to go trick-or-treating.

The group will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Lutheran Evangelical Church, 1401 12th Ave. All those with a cheerful heart and willing hands are welcome to help. The group will also welcome supplies to include in the trick-or-treat bags and baskets. Things like art and school supplies, books, clothing, toys and non-perishable food will be appreciated.

Also on Saturday, a group from Juniata College in Huntingdon will work with Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful to clean up an illegal dumpsite. The effort starts at 8 a.m. and continues into the afternoon.

“Make a Difference Day has become an enduring tradition that brings people together, across differences, to help solve community problems,” Points of Light President Tracy Hoover said in an announcement about the effort. “With projects throughout the country, it’s a great opportunity to start volunteering or, if you are already a volunteer, it’s a great time to invite a friend to join you.”

Sounds like a good plan.