Long Beach High School students are answering the national call to volunteerism, in honor of a beloved former student and Make A Difference Day, the nation’s largest day of volunteering, observed on the fourth Saturday of each October.
Nationally, Make A Difference Day, created by USA Weekend magazine and the HandsOn Network, is observed Oct. 27 but Long Beach High will be celebrating a day of service on Oct. 22 with events including a walkathon, said Mike Solomonic, 17, a senior. Students will walk around the school’s pond to raise money for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in honor of Corey Lovrich, a high school lacrosse star and 2009 graduate who died in May after a battle with cancer. Lovrich was treated at Memorial Sloan.
Solomonic said he’s volunteering because “I wanted to make a difference in the community. I felt like this is something that would bring the community together for such a well-known kid that everyone really loved.” Solomonic credited student Ashley Alvarado for initiating the idea. Sponsors can donate $5 to join the walk.
Families come out in droves this month, to raise funds for causes close to their heart, from pancreatic and breast cancer research to diabetes and autism research. Most groups welcome volunteers any day of the year.
On Oct. 30, volunteers older than 16 can help pack supplies for soldiers, said Jacob’s Light Foundation’s Dorine Kenney. For details, contact Kenney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you love animals, you can volunteer for groups such as Volunteers For Wildlife. Parents and children can help collect food supplies and help build nestboxes for injured wildlife, said Lauren Schulz, the group’s education coordinator. “We have many children that organize food drives or collect supplies at their birthday parties to benefit our patients.” For details, visit volunteersforwildlife.org.
HorseAbility in Old Westbury, which offers horse-related programs for people with special needs, said it will hold its normal volunteer programing on Oct. 27.
For information on Make a Difference Day, visit usaweekend.com/section/mdday