By Margaret Liendo
Over 80 volunteers turned out for this year’s Make A Difference Day on Saturday, September 26. Led by Pat Tracy, director of Campus Ministry, and other student and faculty leaders from St. Joseph’s College, the volunteers took part in numerous service sites across Long Island.
The teams covered seven community service sites: Habitat for Humanity in Queens, Gerald Ryan Outreach Center in Wyandanch, DD Animal Ranch in Manorville, Momma’s House in Wantagh, St. Joseph’s the Worker Community Garden at East Patchogue, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Patchogue and Save-A-Pet in Port Jefferson Station.
By the end of the day, the volunteers had accumulated over 450 hours of community service, which helped to further improve those non-profit organizations and charitable agencies.
Fifteen volunteers made their way to Momma’s House, a home for young mothers and their babies who receive help to further advance their education to eventually take care of themselves and their babies. There, the volunteers removed several air-conditioners for the season, repaired two screen doors, a door window, cleaned and organized the garage and yard and carried in donated food. While many other sites finished around 1-3 p.m., the majority of these volunteers went from around 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Patricia Shea, the executive director of Momma’s House, was grateful for all the help provided to make the home “safe and beautiful.” She wished the volunteers many blessings “as you have touched the lives of strangers. May you find as much joy in your life as you have given to our moms and babies.”
Another great experience was seen by the volunteers who went to give their time at Save-A-Pet. Volunteers got the opportunity to visit a feral cat colony, which the organization takes care of year round, learned of the benefits of the Trap Neuter Release Program and received a short tour of the facility. Afterwards, they got to work which included cleaning the entire Community Clinic as well as the conference room.
One of those volunteers was Taryn Kutujian, the associate director of Alumni Engagement, who said, “It really was a tremendously rewarding and educational experience and it was such a tremendous honor to work alongside these amazing individuals.”
These are just a few of the many experiences and memories told by the volunteers who took part in the efforts of the day. More stories and pictures can be found at the Community Service page of St. Joseph’s College on Facebook or at the Campus Ministry. It may be just a day, but the memories and fun-filled moments spent at each site are eternal. So make sure to take part in Make A Difference Day next year for an unforgettable experience!