Make a Difference Day (MADD) is a day where people nationwide assist seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans. It is a way for community members to ‘pay it forward’ and provide for people in need. Services included light or heavy duty chores around the home, yard work projects, socializing and being present to homeowners, or weatherization activities.
The Andrew Connolly Make a Difference Day was named in 2013 after a veteran who had been served by community members in previous years.
Connolly’s family said, “We appreciated all the time people gave to help our father out. It really made a difference in our lives.”
After he passed away, they decided to give back by coordinating an Andrew Connolly Day of Service in 2011. Later they teamed up with Black Hills Energy to create Make a Difference Day.
The day began with coffee, donuts, and a pep-rally at Presbyterian Westminster Church on University Avenue. The family spoke about the history behind this special day. Loras had several teams who participated through different organizations. The picture above is of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members throughout Dubuque.
Senior Josh Bird, Loras AmeriCorps member, loved MADD because it allowed him to step out of his comfort zone.
“It was an awesome experience,” Bird said. “I would definitely recommend this day of service to others, and the unique thing about MADD is the fact that it truly allows you to form bonds with complete strangers. “
“My favorite part was seeing just how many people are donating their time to help others in our community,” Loras graduate Luis Sanchez explained. “Whether it was raking leaves and fixing vents or cleaning a garden, it was all done to better serve our community!”
The opportunity to help other people with activities most people take for granted was gratifying for many people.
“You do not know how much this means to me,” said an elderly woman helped by the Loras College Breitbach team. “I was not going to call and then I realized I really cannot do this myself anymore. I hate feeling helpless, but your kindness has really made today worth it.”