UWM leads volunteer effort to help older adults Nov. 11

MILWAUKEE _ More than 300 older adults will get help from hundreds of local students and volunteers in preparing their homes for winter on Saturday, Nov. 11, during the annual Make a Difference Day.
The day kicks off with a free breakfast for volunteers at 8 a.m. in the UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. From there, the students will receive tools and head out into the neighborhoods to the houses they’ve been assigned.

This year, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is serving as lead organizer of the event for the first time. Approximately 500 volunteers from UWM are expected, according to Laurie Marks, executive director of the university’s Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research. UWM is working in collaboration with Interfaith Older Adult Programs, Marquette University (with 350 expected volunteers) and MATC (with 50 volunteers).

The annual fall event pairs students and volunteers with older adults living in Milwaukee County who need help preparing their homes for winter. Winterizing efforts include raking, pulling up gardens, weeding and putting up storm windows.

“Nobody can do it all alone, and older adults need a helping hand,” said Eddy Magnus, director of volunteer services for Interfaith.

Make a Difference Day started more than 25 years ago, according to Magnus, and UWM has been involved for the past 17 years. Interfaith provides the names of the older adults who have signed up for assistance in getting their homes prepped for winter, while UWM is coordinating the volunteers.

Taking on this project for the first time is a continuation of UWM’s ongoing community engagement, said Marks. The university has earned recognitions from the Carnegie Classification and the White House for its commitment to volunteerism and community engaged research and teaching. Last academic year alone, UWM students, faculty, staff and alumni completed more than 66,000 hours of community service.

Note to Media: Here are cell phone numbers for Laurie Marks and Zack Garrity of the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research and Eddy Magnus of Interfaith who will be at the event and available to answer questions Saturday morning:

Laurie Marks- 414-759-5500
Zack Garrity- 262-720-3717
Eddy Magnus – 414-801-7362

Below is contact information for older adults who are participating and are willing to be photographed and interviewed. Please do not share any exact addresses in news stories.
June Johnson
6990 N. Beech Tree Drive,
Glendale, Wisconsin

Joan Colman
5019 N. Woodburn St.
Whitefish Bay, WI 53217