The Richter Center Student Leaders

Service. Community. Integrity. Growth.


Sierra Foothill Conservancy

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”

Serving Fresno Day

Me and Ambassador Alumna Heather Goossen (left) having fun planting trees on Make a Difference Day.
Me and Ambassador Alumna Heather Goossen (left) having fun planting trees on Make a Difference Day.

Are you looking for a way to serve in the Fresno community? Lucky for you, Serving Fresno Day is November 21, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 pm. Serving Fresno Day is a local day of service encouraging people in the community to serve. Fresno State students, faculty, staff, and alumni have the opportunity to serve their community with one of three community benefit organizations. This year, Fresno State is partnering with Sierra Foothill Conservancy, Fresno State Plant Operations, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley.

  1. To refurbish the Fresno State campus.
  2. To help build hiking trails with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy.
  3. To paint and work on beautification projects at the Ronald McDonald House.

Volunteers are able to participate individually or as a group, they just need to fill out the Serving Fresno Day registration form. After you have registered, you will receive additional information about the event via email.

Last year, I had a wonderful time volunteering at a similar event called Make a Difference Day where I planted trees at Woodward Park. I still remember this experience because when I go to the park I am able to appreciate the nature around me. It is interesting because most of the time people want to help others and do not think about volunteering to improve the community through nature beautification. However, this event made me realize that no matter what the service is, you can make a difference. There are hundreds of people that walk through the park every week and they are able to appreciate nature because of the help of volunteers.

How do you serve Fresno?

-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

Serving Fresno Day: Giving back to our community

As many of you might already know, Saturday, November 19th was Serving Fresno Day, a wonderful event in which our own Fresno State students were able to give back to their community while taking pride in all that we have here in Fresno. A group of students volunteered at Rotary Storyland and Playland, while another group helped the Sierra Foothill Conservancy clean up trails in the foothills.

I was stationed at Playland, a small amusement park in the heart of Fresno where kids and their families can go for a great time. My job was to help repaint “The Octopus” ride, seen below. Others helped to repaint benches and “The Big Rocko” ride, and another group helped clean the deck near Shipwreck Cove.

"The Octopus," one of the rides worked on by volunteers at Serving Fresno Day.

It was a long process, but the results were very much worth it. Serving Fresno Day was a great experience that allowed me able to give back to the Fresno area while helping make the park a more fun and beautiful place for kids and families to be for years to come. It truly is incredible to be able to make a difference that will be seen and enjoyed by so many.

Next time, I hope to join the Sierra Foothill Conservancy in restoring trails and making the foothills an even more beautiful place to visit. In the meantime, I look forward to volunteering with other Fresno agencies that give back to our community.

With the season of giving coming up, here’s some food for thought: What are some of the ways in which you can give back to your community?

– Ambassador Becky

Serving Fresno Day 2011: Your Chance to Give Back

Volunteers beautify an exhibit at Rotary Storyland and Playland.

It’s almost that time of year again.  The holiday season comes with a sense of gratitude.  It’s all about slowing down a bit, spending time with family, and most importantly, giving thanks for the great things that surround us.  What better way to kick off this season of giving than by joining in the efforts of Serving Fresno Day 2011?  Join a group of fellow Fresno State students as they share their time and desire to help on Saturday, November 19, 2011.  We will be working with our community partners, the Sierra Foothill Conservancy and Rotary Storyland and Playland.

Volunteers clear trails with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy.

Interested in helping?  You’d better act quickly!  Click here to register for this event by Wednesday, November 16.  This is sure to be a great experience, and an awesome opportunity to give back.

-Ambassador German

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

Community Service Fair: Fall, 2011

Hello, everyone! On Wednesday, August 31st, the Richter Center hosted the Fall Community Service fair on the Fresno State campus, in front of the Kennel Bookstore. Hopefully, some of you reading this made it out to check out some of the booths, meet some people and learn about some opportunities for community service near you, but for those of you who missed out, never fear! I’m here to fill you in on what you missed, and provide you with the information you need to get involved.


There were over 75 organizations represented at this year’s fair and, although I didn’t talk to all of them, I’d bet that they ALL would be worth your time as a volunteer. Two that stuck out to me in particular were the Sierra Foothill Conservancy and the Bulldog Pantry. I’ve always been a fan of doing work outdoors, so when I learned that many of the volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy involve some sort of landscape upkeep, I knew that this would be a place I’d want to visit. If outdoor labor isn’t your preference, check out the Bulldog Pantry. Since the fair I’ve visited the Pantry twice and have thoroughly enjoyed packing food for distribution both of the times I was there.

If you’re looking for somewhere else to volunteer, come on by the Richter Center and we will be happy to give you information and contact numbers for any of the organizations that were at the fair. In the meantime, check out the video I made about the Community Service Fair!

 -Ambassador Ryan

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