“Make a Difference Day is a national day of service,” said Mike Moon, the assistant director of the Community Involvement Center, “and Weber State University participates in that . . . doing service together on the same day and time as everyone else in the nation.”
Students were sent to five different locations throughout Ogden to do service.
The locations were St. Anne’s Shelter, Ogden Nature Center, Ogden City, Habitat for Humanity and the Ogden Rescue Mission. Each place had various projects for students to do. At St. Anne’s, students helped with the winter clothing donations. At the Nature Center, they helped set up for the Creatures of the Night event. The Rescue Mission had students help organize their food pantry, and in Ogden City, students cleaned up a trail.
Habitat for Humanity broke the students up into two groups. One went to Clearfield to help demolish parts of a house, while the other group helped build a sprinkler system at an Ogden home. The Ogden house was the place students were needed the most and were encouraged to go.
“It’s harder work than you would think,” said Olivia Racker about digging the trenches for the sprinkler system, “but I think it’s a really enjoyable experience to be able to help out and to be a part of this.”
Students were given the plans for the irrigation system and were each split into different groups. Each group was responsible for one area of the system. They started by spray-painting the ground where they were meant to dig, which was dictated by the plans.
They then dug along the spray-painted line.
“It’s nice to volunteer, it is nice to help out your community, and it’s nice to represent dental hygiene,” said dental hygiene major Amanda Chugg. Both Chugg and Racker were there to fulfill service hours for AmeriCorps, an organization from which they both receive scholarships.
“I enjoy this, because I like knowing that I am helping out low-income housing,” Racker said. “It makes me feel like I did a good deed by doing community service for the underprivileged.”
The family that would receive this home would be able to buy the house without paying interest on it and would purchase it at a lower price.
“We aren’t just building sprinkler systems; we’re building dreams,” Chugg said.
Not only students were there; entire families came to help build.
“I brought my son Peter, William, and Frank, and then William brought his two boys, so we made this a family affair,” said Betty Gilchrist, the chair of the Classified Staff Advisory Committee, which has been trying to get the WSU students and staff involved in community events. “It’s been great; we are doing things we absolutely don’t know how to do. They are telling us what to do, so we do.”
The Ogden house sprinkler system was not finished by the end of the day. The trenches were dug, but the piping was not put together. Students are encouraged to go volunteer next week as well.
“It’s a good way to get involved and do some service for your community while the weather is still good,” Moon said.