Marquette, UWM and MATC students to help seniors as part of ‘Make a Difference Day’
Nov. 7, 2019
MILWAUKEE — More than 800 student volunteers from Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College will come together Saturday, Nov. 9, to help older adults across Milwaukee County get ready for Wisconsin’s winter.
The event, cohosted by the three institutions, is part of “Make a Difference Day,” an annual nationwide event in which organizations join forces to elevate community service.
This year, student volunteers will visit more than 150 homes throughout the county to assist older adults with raking leaves, cleaning yards and providing a friendly visitor, ensuring they are able to stay safe, warm and independent in their homes this winter.
One-third of older adults live alone, and many cannot complete the outdoor tasks required as the winter months approach. In addition, according to the Milwaukee County Department on Aging Area Plan for 2019-21, when compared to the state of Wisconsin as a whole, Milwaukee has a higher percentage of people age 65 years and over living alone.
The Make a Difference Day event is also in partnership with Eras Senior Network Inc., a nonprofit organization aimed at engaging and supporting seniors in leading meaningful lives.
“Every year, seniors look forward to students arriving to help with home projects. Without help, seniors may try to do the work themselves and be at risk of falls in their homes,” said Kathy Gale, executive director of Eras Senior Network. “Falls can be devastating for seniors, resulting in hospitalization and loss of independence. The students’ hours of service are making an appreciable difference for vulnerable neighborhoods.”
Make a Difference Day is a collaboration among Marquette’s Sorority and Fraternity Life and the Center for Community Service; UWM’s Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research; and MATC’s Center for Engaged and Service-Learning.
Interviews with Make a Difference Day participants, including staff, student volunteers and homeowners, are available from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 9, at a benefitting home in Wauwatosa. For more information, including the exact location, contact Kelly Walker, director of community service for the Division of Student Affairs at Marquette University, at (585) 507-7876.
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