A day to make a difference

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 26, 2001

Tomorrow, members of two communities in the county will come together to show they care.

Friday, October 26, 2001

Tomorrow, members of two communities in the county will come together to show they care.

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The goal? To make a difference.

Both Ironton and Coal Grove will participate in USA Weekend Magazine’s annual Make a Difference Day. The day is known "the national day of volunteering" and is claimed to be the largest single day of individuals banding together to help others.

True to the theme of the event, Ironton’s Make a Difference Day project will center around volunteering, organizer Janet Ratliff said. Non-profit agencies in the Tri-State area will be invited to the Ironton City Center for a "mini fair" that is scheduled to last from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The idea is to promote volunteering.

According to Ratliff, the following organizations have committed to setting up booths at the City Center:

Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE)/Public Education Tutoring Services (PETS); Help Me Grow; the Lawrence County Humane Society; Operation Be Proud; the Kiwanis Club; the American Cancer Society; COAD Foster Grandparents/Senior Companions; Ironton Volunteer Cleanup Day; Head Start; and Tri-State Literacy. Ratliff added the American Red Cross may also be on hand for the event.

Ratliff said the groups will set up tables in the City Center and "most of the tables will offer fun-filled activities for the children as well as information on how people can volunteer in the community."

In addition, there will also be a book drive and read-a-thon. Ratliff is encouraging the community to donate new or used books to donate to area shelters. Already, she said, Emily Douglas, owner of Grandma’s Gifts in Columbus, has donated 500 new books.

"Anyone who reads (during the read-a-thon) can pick out a new book," she said, adding those left over will be donated to the shelters.

Plans also include games for the children, face painting by Susan Beaver of the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, refreshments, prizes and free Make a Difference Day memorabilia items such as iron-ons, stickers and balloons. Smokey the Bear will make an appearance on the Third Street side of the City Center at 12:45 p.m.

Ratliff added that Mayor Bob Cleary is expected to make a proclamation declaring Saturday Make a Difference Day.

Members of the Coal Grove Church of the Nazarene are no strangers to Make a Difference Day projects. Last year, the congregation was recognized as having the best local Make a Difference Day project.

This year, the church will be giving away free clothing, free lunch and providing face painting for the children. Volunteers will be also be doing work around the church throughout the day. Volunteers will also clean and do odd jobs for the disabled and take part in other community projects.

The Coal Grove Fire Department will be on hand to accept donations for the Fireman’s Disaster Fund. Also, old eyeglasses will be collected for Lens Crafters and the Lion’s Club.

Anyone wanting to volunteer their time are encouraged to show up Saturday. The event will last from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.