Each October, volunteers from across the country unite for Make A Difference Day, one of the largest days of service nationwide. Since 1992, volunteers and communities have come together on Make A Difference Day with a single purpose: to improve the lives of others. One of the largest Make a Difference Day projects in our region was the Coat & Winter Wear Distribution and Community Resource Fair, held on October 25th, and hosted by SPARK and United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton.
This year’s event distributed over 1,200 winter wear items, including coats, hats, gloves, and snow pants to over 445 individuals. A Community Resource Fair also provided information to families regarding local services and programming.
It takes community partnerships to make projects like this a success. A very special appreciation to SPARK Community Engagement Chair Amy Haberman for her organizational skills and dedication to Make A Difference Day in Yankton. Thank you, Amy for all that you do!
Thank you to the Yankton School District and Sacred Heart Schools principals, faculty, and students for organizing coat drives. Also thank you to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Kopetsky’s Ace Hardware, Services Center Federal Credit Union, SD Human Services Center, Yankton Community Library and Maurice’s for being community drop off locations.
Thank you to the Yankton Boy Scouts and Dr. Kynan Trail for transporting thousands of donated winter wear items before the event, and to VFW Post #791 and the NFAA for the use of stanchions and tables. To our partners at the City of Yankton, thank you for once again hosting the centralized location at the Yankton City Hall Gymnasium.
Over 60 community members came together to help make a difference and assist our neighbors in need. Thank you, United Way volunteer groups, (LINC, Mount Marty College Student United Way, and Heart Club Committee) and Yankton High School National Honor Society for organizing, sorting and setting up. Thank you, United Way Board of Directors and community volunteers Mike & Gerri Healy, Sharon Fiedler, Donna Freng, Beth Hanson and Jen Bell for helping distribute items and assisting families in attendance.
Thank you to Deanna Branaugh, Parents as Teachers; Jennifer Powell, Systems of Care; Deb Overseth, Yankton Food for Thought; Kristi Patton; Ability Building Services; Dr. Mark Mabee, Servant Hearts Clinic; Lacey Johnson, Department of Labor & Regulation; Jesse Bailey, Pathways Shelter for the Homeless; and Teresa Crisman, Department of Social Services for sharing information and resources.
Last, but not least, THANK YOU to the community of Yankton for your incredible generosity! Please remember to mark your calendars for the third Thursday in October for next year’s Make a Difference Day.