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Area residents are able to make difference through volunteering

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of our lives, but there are still ways to give back to our community.

And there’s a great opportunity to do so next weekend, as Make a Difference Day — a national day of volunteering — falls on the fourth Saturday of October each year.

For those looking to get involved locally, the United Way of Marquette County is hosting its own take on Make a Difference Day: Rake a Difference Day.

For Rake a Difference Day, United Way is seeking volunteers to rake the yards of people 60 and older who are physically unable to perform yard work or can’t afford to pay for yard services, a Thursday Journal article in the Boomers & Beyond section reported.

Andrew Rickauer, executive director of United Way of Marquette County said the organization is still seeking volunteers for the event, as well as seniors who need their yards raked.

It’s especially important to volunteer this year if you’re able to, as the pandemic has impacted the involvement of many groups that would normally participate, Rickauer said.

“What we found out early on was that a lot of the groups that typically help with Make a Difference Day, a lot aren’t able to get out in groups this year,” Rickauer told the Journal. “But the need is still there and we figured we could help coordinate the effort with having individuals and family groups go and provide the service.”

And if you’re unable to get out and rake this year, Rickauer said United Way is looking for volunteers to put together care kits that will be distributed to seniors around Marquette County.

“Kits give the option to do something from the safety of your home and make a difference, which will be distributed to seniors in need within the county,” he said.

We encourage area residents to get involved on Make a Difference Day by volunteering, creating a care kit or assisting a neighbor in need. A few hours of your time can make a lasting difference in your community. And it might even inspire you to make volunteering a lasting habit in your life.

For groups and individuals looking to sign up to rake yards, visit https://uwmqt.galaxydigital.com/.

If you’re interested in putting together a care kit, visit https://uwmqt.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=543510.

Volunteers are subject to a waiver and background check and will be required to wear a face mask when within six feet of another individual.

Eligible seniors who would like their yard raked on Oct. 24 can call 906-226-8171. Seniors are helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

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