Making a difference from Quay to the Middle East

By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS

Making a difference could be as easy as opening a door or carrying some groceries. Or, as Tucumcari’s Altrusa is planning this year, be as involved as revamping the entire library at the Pioneer Senior Center.

These are just some of the ideas for Saturday’s Make a Difference Day, which was created by USA Weekend magazine 15 years ago and includes an average of more than 2 million volunteers annually.

To encourage participation in this annual event, $100,000 is available for local charities and participants, according to the USA Weekend Web site.

To be in the running for funds for community needs, anyone who completes a Make a Difference project should register a project prior to its implementation and send an entry form after its completion. Forms and more information are all available at

Projects already registered this year on the USA Weekend Web site include an Oregon 4-H sewing project, a St. Louis-based project to build quilts for hurricane victims and Soaringwords, a New York-based project for making quilts and pillows for hospitalized children. The latter two projects are nationwide efforts and encourage participation across the United States.

Other registered projects are geared towards helping foster children, dirty highways and American soldiers stationed in the Middle East.

A total of nine projects this year have been registered for New Mexico. A few of these include yard work for senior citizens in Navajo; help for the homeless in Las Cruces and Carlsbad; and a total of four different projects in Albuquerque.

Although Altrusa’s project in Quay County is not registered on the USA Weekend Web site, club President Glenda Reid said literacy coordinator Linda Donwerth has the senior citizen library face-lift under control. “We are going to give them new tables, new chairs and new books,” Reid said, “books they haven’t read yet and would actually want to read.”

How to Make a Difference:

For project ideas, visit
or call the Make a Difference hotline at (800) 416-3824.

To be eligible for Make a Difference funds for community needs, send an entry form after the project is completed. Entry forms are available at

Anyone who plans to Make a Difference on Saturday may contact QCS Managing Editor Ryn Gargulinski at 461-1952 or for possible inclusion in a future issue.