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Make A Difference Michiana 4/14/2012 10:44:32 PM
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National Volunteer Week is Here!

Posted on 4/14/2012 10:44:32 PM
Author: Melissa Richmond

This week is National Volunteer Week.  It is a great time for us to think about how we can put our talents to use in the community.  Here are just a few ways:

1) Run, walk or volunteer in the following events that raise money for worthy causes.  Not only will you reach your own healthy goals, but you will help nonprofits in our community reach their goals.
  • Saturday, April 28 - Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - 223 volunteers needed for race day
  • Sunday, April 29 - Fr. Ted 10K (5K, 10K, family walk) - Raises money for Upward Bound - volunteers still needed
  • Saturday, May 12 - 5K Run for Education - P-H-M Educational Foundation
  • Saturday, May 19 - Girls on the Run 5K - Supports GOTR Michiana
  • Saturday, May 19 - Ribbon of Hope 5K Run/Walk - Encouragement for cancer patients - Elkhart, IN
  • Saturday, June 2 - Sunburst Races - Memorial Children's Hospital

2) Be a mentor.
Get involved as a mentor for Five Star (or another local educational organization for kids). This program helps kids to lead the "five star life," by inspiring them to raise their grades and value, respect, and honor their lives.  If you volunteer for a day trip, you could teach a student to fish, ride horses and learn horse safety, learn the skills necessary to complete a service project, or a number of other things.  Email them for more information or visit their website to learn more.

3) Volunteer at St. Vincent De Paul
This organization is reaching out for help.   They need help organizing, sorting, and hanging clothes and other items they receive at their Ardmore site.  The quicker they are able to process donations the more people they can serve. Call Denise Blanche, volunteer organizer at 574-234-6000 extension 12105.

4) Give Thanks (and maybe a Cruise!)
In honor of National Volunteer Week, Points of Light will be sending one fabulous volunteer on an Alaskan Cruise!  Share the story of volunteer you know who is taking action in the community, and if they win, they will be rewarded with an all-expenses paid trip!
Submit your nomination on the Points of Light Facebook page:  or visit

5) Honor a loved on who has battled cancer by joining a Relay for Life team
Relay for Life events will be help in may areas surrounding St. Joseph county throughout the next few weeks.  The Notre Dame "Fightin' Irish, Fightin' Cancer" Relay will take place April 27-28 beginning at 6 p.m.

Changes at Make a Difference Michiana in 2010

Posted on 12/30/2009 5:06:48 PM
Author: Andrew Lynn

A new year is nearly upon us, and with that year comes a change for Make a Difference Michiana. I will be stepping away from the Program Director position to pursue other professional interests after this week.

I've enjoyed working with the organization for the past three years. I'm grateful for all the people I've met, the events I've been a part of, and the organizations I've had the chance to work with. My position provided me with a unique opportunity to interact with some of the area's most passionate and inspiring people, and it's been great collaborating with so many amazing organizations and volunteer groups.

The Make a Difference Michiana board of directors will assume oversight of the website and the day-to-day operations of the organization after December 31st, 2009. Should you need to reach them, please email (the phone number is no longer active)

I wish you all a very wonderful 2010! 


A Visual Guide to Giving

Posted on 12/11/2009 9:36:33 AM
Author: Andrew Lynn

How many Germans does it take to equal the charitable giving of one American?

No, it's not a joke, you can find out by clicking read more or hitting the link below.

Give to the Charity of your Choice this Holiday Season

Posted on 12/4/2009 3:45:32 PM
Author: Andrew Lynn

You can give to any of 350 local non-profit organizations directly through

It's fast, simple, and safe. And there's never been a better time to give.

Make a Difference Michiana provides you with the ability to make donations directly to your favorite organizations. If you want to find a new cause to support, try searching for organizations by what they do.

We believe in giving: that's why our logo is a gift. Whether its your time, talent, or treasure, you can impact your community by connecting with a cause RIGHT NOW. Talk to your family and friends about how you can make a difference this Christmas by supporting a local non-profit

One Final Look at Make a Difference Day

Posted on 11/11/2009 9:49:56 AM
Author: Andrew Lynn

A month ago today we witnessed the community's largest Make a Difference Day in history. The final numbers are impressive:

26 Volunteer Sites, 300 volunteers coordinated through Make a Difference Day, 900 total volunteers active in their community, 2,242 hours of volunteer work, and $42,600 worth of free work donated to the local non-profit sector.

View the full report here.

I'd like to thank all the non-profits who collaborated with us to make this event happen. It's great to see so many groups come together for this one day of service. We had volunteer sites all over South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart.

Special thanks as well to our sponsors: 1st Source, May Oberfell Lorber, The Bear, Hacienda, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

We held a competition among local high school groups to see who could recruit the most volunteers. The winner: Upward Bound of Notre Dame. They'll be receiving a free meal at Hacienda.

We also held a competition among local businesses, and the winner was Crowe Horwath.

Make a Difference Day 2010 will be held next October, be watching the website for details on how to get involved. In the meantime, please use to connect with and support the organization of your choice.


Posted on 10/9/2009 7:24:31 PM
Author: Andrew Lynn

900 Volunteers.

26 projects.

and over 5,000 walkers or truck-pullers.

This is Michiana's largest Make a Difference Day ever! Thousands of hours of community service are being performed this weekend for local non-profits. Thanks to all the non-profits who collaborated with us to make this an event a great success.

Check the blog next week for a final wrap-up on the day.

Join 700 people in making a difference this weekend!

Posted on 10/5/2009 11:17:20 PM
Author: Andrew Lynn

It's not just a volunteer day, it's a 700-person movement.

Notre Dame Softball. Crowe Horwath. Girl Scouts. Press Ganey. Granger Community Church. May Oberfell Lorber. Junior League. These are just some of the groups that are bringing their members together to give their time this weekend.

Nationally, it's the largest volunteer day in the nation. Locally, we expect at least 700 volunteers to give back to their community this weekend.

If you haven't signed up yet, there are still some great opportunities that need YOUR help:

Landscaping and Cleaning at United Religious Communities

Organizing Storage Areas and Painting at YWCA

Assist with Packaging and Production at LOGAN Industries

Clean Up Day at Reins of Life (in South Bend or Michigan City)

Cleaning and Organizing at Center for the Homeless

Landscape Renewal at Habitat Restore

Landscaping at Alchohol and Addictions Resources

All of these opportunities and a few more can be found on our Make a Difference Day Project List Page:

If you're signed up, you'll be receiving a free t-shirt and a coupon to Buffalo Wild Wings for 6 free wings. More than that, you'll be part of an effort to give a valuable boost of free work to a non-profit sector challenged by economic conditions.

If you need any help finding a project, or if you are taking part in a project not on our list, please contact us.


Be Part of Something Big!

Posted on 9/11/2009 9:53:13 AM
Author: Andrew Lynn

Choose your Cause, Impact your Community. Make a Difference Day brings together hundreds of people, businesses, schools, and community groups to help local non-profits. You can be part of it!

If you have ever wanted to connect with a cause but didn't know how, this is your chance. Environment, youth, the eldery, education, poverty, disabilities, literacy, health, anything else--there is an organization locally that needs your help! Make a Difference Michiana has assembled a list of projects: just go to to find the list!

We invite all participants to join us at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mishawaka after they volunteer to celebrate the huge impact of the day. Participants will receive 6 free wings!  Please join us from 6-8PM on Saturday October 10th! 

View List of Projects