VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota helped make a difference in the community by participating in service-learning projects associated with the 18th annual Make A Difference Day. The Center for Academic Engagement (CAE) has sponsored Make A Difference Day projects since 2003.
During the week, CAE staff and USD students assisted in the Empty Bowls Project, which was created in 1990 by a middle school art teacher in Michigan to bring attention to social issues through art. USD students Erin Simpfenderfer of Wall, S.D., Katarina Gombocz of Vermillion, Kathleen Hruska and Bobbi Jo McIntire of Sioux Falls, S.D., Jonathan Hart of South Weymouth, Mass., and Keith Smith of Omaha, Neb., glazed clay bowls that will eventually be auctioned during future hunger awareness events.
On Make A Difference Day, which was the national day to help others on Oct. 25, USD students Smith, Anne Rosenbaum of Jefferson, S.D., Kenny Puepke of Alexandria, La., and Jonathan Bauman of Yankton, S.D., along with CAE staff and community volunteers assisted at the Vermillion Community Garden cleaning plots, weeding and creating a compost pile for future use. The students also learned about the mission of the Vermillion Community Garden from board members Dean Spader and Rebecca Turk, who talked about issues relating to sustainability, growing local products, and the science of gardening.
"The Vermillion Community Garden is a very creative idea and should be implemented in all communities," noted Bauman, a junior mass communication major.
Sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make A Difference Day is the largest national day of helping others and is held in partnership with Hands On Network, and supported by Newman’s Own, which provides $10,000 donations to charities selected by each of 10 national honorees.