The Richter Center Student Leaders

Service. Community. Integrity. Growth.


Make a Difference Day

Make a Difference Day: Sierra Foothill Conservancy

Make a Difference Day is a national event that gives people the opportunity to volunteer their time at a place in their community. This year, the Richter Center SERVE Committee and Reflection Facilitators teamed up with Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Art of Life, Sierra Foothill Conservancy, and The Discovery Center. I signed up to volunteer at the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, where land and wildlife is preserved and protected for educational and recreational use. Continue reading “Make a Difference Day: Sierra Foothill Conservancy”

To Plant a Tree

On Saturday, October 24th, I volunteered at Make a Difference Day, which was planned and hosted by the SERVE committee, another Richter’s Center Student Leader group in charge of organizing the many different one-day service events through Fresno State. I woke up early, walked down to the school, and checked-in to the location with all the other volunteers that were set to serve that day – all before 8AM. Continue reading “To Plant a Tree”

What’s the Difference?

Courtesy of Nicole S.
Ambassadors Heather, Nicole, and Jazmin working on the tree well project during Make a Difference Day.

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” –John F. Kennedy

Make a Difference Day is a national event that promotes community service to improve the lives of others. Fresno State collaborates with Fresno PARCS (Parks, After school, Recreational, and Community Service) and the Sierra Foothill Conservancy to create long-lasting projects that benefit the community.

Since it was my first time volunteering at a Make a Difference Day event, I was very excited to lend a hand in refurbishing and beautifying Woodward Park. There were two tasks at this site: we repaired fences/barricades surrounding the park and created tree wells for tree irrigation. From my perspective, the highlight of the day was observing harmonious teamwork. Each individual contributed his or her greatest effort to the task at hand. As a group, we were motivated and willing to put in our best efforts to complete our objectives. I was thrilled to see new faces and meet other Fresno State students that also enjoyed community service. Although it was an exhausting day, it was rewarding to see how much we were able to accomplish in just a few hours. One day when I return to visit Woodward Park, I will not only be able to enjoy the scenic views, but also be more appreciative of all the work that goes into keeping the parks clean on a daily basis.

After reflecting on this event, I realized that even the smallest things could be a part of something bigger. Each person was a puzzle piece, and by putting in time, energy, and effort we were able to all contribute to improving the park as a whole.  I look forward to attending the next service event called Serving Fresno Day on November 22nd, 2014. I hope to see you there as well.

What impact did Make a Difference Day have on you?

How can you make a difference everyday?

Will you be at Serving Fresno Day on November 22nd?

-Ambassador Nicole

Making a Difference

This past Saturday was Make a Difference Day, a national day of community service in which millions of volunteers around the country unite in order to improve the lives of others. Here at Fresno State, students, faculty, and staff came together to build trails at Sierra Foothill Conservancy and to revitalize Holman Park in partnership with Fresno PARCs.

A group of us start spreading the "wood" chips made from recycled tires.
A group of us start spreading the “wood” chips made from recycled tires.

Although I heard that both of the projects were a success, I personally volunteered at Holman Park. While a group painted new lines in the parking lot, I helped many others to lay down new wood chips made from recycled rubber on the playground. Despite the early Saturday morning, this service to the community was truly the highlight of my week. Nonetheless, this project was a daunting task. Our team had to first level out the sand and lay down weed-barrier fabric before we could even start the laborious shoveling and raking necessary to spread the wood chips. Once we finally finished most of the prep work, we watched in wonder as a giant crane slowly dropped hundreds of pounds worth of wood chips on the play area. Then, as a team, we sprung on the massive pile, tearing it down and distributing it out.

A before photo of the playground in the early morning light.
A before photo of the playground in the early morning light….and after all of our hard work resurfacing the area....and after all of our hard work of resurfacing the playground!

After hours of moving and spreading, we were finally finished. It was amazing the difference we made in the park with just a few hours of working together. I felt extremely accomplished and excited that area children were now going to be able to enjoy all our hard work. We were all beaming with pride. Afterward, we discussed what had happened and recognized that the work we did had really bonded us together and made us want to do more. We realized how important it was for us to give back to our community and positively affect the lives of others. I went home that afternoon sore, but feeling gratified and eager for the next opportunity to make a difference.

How did you participate in Make a Difference Day on Saturday?

And…check out this great coverage produced by Fresno State’s The Collegian:

The next one-day service event sponsored by the Richter Center is Serving Fresno Day and it is scheduled for November 16, 2013.  Check back with this blog (or subscribe!) to be updated when registration for Serving Fresno Day is open.

– Ambassador Heather

Make A Difference Day- Oct. 27

How Can YOU Make a Difference?

Well, it’s easier and more convenient than you think…Make a Difference Day is happening Saturday, October 27, 2012! From 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., you can help by volunteering at one of three different sites:

Help decorate Rotary Storyland and Playland. They are holding a Spooktacular Event for kids, and you can help with decoration, set-up, and assist at the event.

Help restore Romain Park. You can help keep the park clean and safe for the community.

Or build trails at Sierra Foothill Conservancy. Get out into nature and help preserve the natural beauty of Fresno.

Lunch is provided for each site.

Registration is quick and easy. You can register online to volunteer at one of these places. Go to

To provide some testimony, I believe Make a Difference Day is a good way to have fun with friends, meet new ones, and help restore pride in Fresno. As a member of the S.E.R.V.E. Committee (Student Experience for Richter Volunteer Events), I can ensure this will be fun service that will be beneficial to both our community and you!

Register now and spread the word.

1 Day…3 Ways…2 Make a Difference.

-Ambassador Alexi

Can’t Wait to Make a Difference!

Ambassadors Mika and Daniel take a short break from cuttin' trails at last year's Make a Difference Day with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy.

Interested in making a difference?  Love the great outdoors, and making it more accessible to other enthusiasts? Do you hold a soft spot in your heart for that favorite play area from your childhood, and want to help restore a kid-favorite spot, known valley wide?  If you answered yes to any of the above, the Richter Center Ambassadors have a solution for you!  Make-A-Difference Day, one of the highlights of the volunteering calendar for Fresno State is this weekend, and this community service advocate and supporter will be building trails with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy at the Mckenzie Preserve in the foothills.  It’s sure to be a good time!  With any luck, I will see you bright and early Saturday morn, and we can share a few hours building trails for the enjoyment of all.  Or maybe you’ll decide to lend a hand at Rotary Storyland/Playland – either way, this is sure to be one of the best volunteering experiences of the year.  Don’t miss out!

–Ambassador Daniel

Now Announcing: Make a Difference Day 2011

Registration for Make a Difference Day is now open!


On Make a Difference Day, Fresno State partners with two local non-profit organizations, the Sierra Foothill Conservancy and Rotary Storyland and Playland, to work on two projects with the goal of making a lasting difference at two wonderful and deserving Valley locations.

Like to do things with your hands? The Sierra Foothill Conservancy is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and maintaining the area between Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks through trail-building, education, and restoration. On Make a Difference Day, you can volunteer with this organization to help build trails in the foothills near Fresno. It’s a chance to try out something you might not have done before while building and preserving trails that will help visitors to the foothills enjoy their beauty to the fullest.
Volunteers help build a trail on Make a Difference Day, 2010.


If trail building isn’t exactly your thing, why not try out refurbishment? Rotary Storyland and Playland is a local park for children that features walk-through exhibits of favorite nursery rhymes, as well as rides perfect for kids. On Make a Difference Day, volunteer at Rotary Storyland and Playland and you will be able to help refurbish and beautify the rides and displays so kids and their families can continue to enjoy the park for years to come.

Fresno State volunteers help refurbish an exhibit at Storyland.

To register to participate in this event, drop on by the Richter Center, or fill out the online form here.

Meanwhile, here’s some food for thought: how do YOU plan to make a difference this year?

– Ambassador Becky

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