USD students ‘make a difference’ during nationwide project day

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota spent a Saturday working on local projects during the 19th annual “Make A Difference Day” on Saturday, Oct. 24. Sponsored by USA WEEKEND, “Make A Difference Day” promotes civic engagement annually during the fourth Saturday of October.

Students from The U painted walls and shelving at Sharing the Dream, located at 10 W Main St., in Vermillion, while another group of USD students served at the Vermillion Community Garden where they helped construct a tool shed. These students also spent time inside the Washington Street Art Center assisting in the building’s major renovation project.

Students participating in “Make A Difference Day” projects included Andi VanHove of Marion, S.D., Timothy Rust of Luverne, Minn., Kayla Fiscus of Sioux City, Iowa, Cati Peterson of Omaha, Neb., Emily Brockett of Morris, Ill., Jessica Colburn of Aurora, Neb., and Toni Barrera of Fremont, Neb.

“It was a good experience overall,” added Fiscus. “I learned the importance of getting involved in the community. We worked a little and helped a lot.”

In addition to “Make A Difference Day” projects, USD’s Center for Academic Engagement promoted the national day to help others by sponsoring a table at the Munster University Center. Quick projects were available at this table as more than 50 students stopped by to paint mini-pumpkins or create a card for items that were eventually donated to the Sioux Falls Children’s Inn. Also, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the CAE’s “Make A Difference Day” table distributed dark purple ribbons to raise domestic violence awareness and provided visitors with information on donating supplies to the local Domestic Violence Safe Option Services.