Volunteers Pitch In To 'Make A Difference'

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If you're going to help somebody on Make a Difference Day, why not choose somebody who in turn helps others.

That was the reasoning employed by Lettie Cale and other members of the Northern Gila County Genealogical Society as 13 members of that organization spent the better part of the day Saturday working on the yard and garden at the new home of Payson Community Kids.

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Saturday was national Make a Difference Day and Joan Savage and other members of the Northern Gila County Genealogical Society spent it cleaning up the grounds of the new home of Payson Community Kids.

"Marci Rogers spoke to our group recently and told us about the work she was doing," Cale said. "When the idea of doing a project came up, we asked her what we could do to help that we can accomplish in a day. She suggested the yard."

The group started at 8 a.m. and finished about 2:30 p.m., dodging raindrops as the day progressed.

"We got rained on a little bit every once in awhile, but it wasn't enough to drive us inside," Cale said. "Then just about the time we finished getting that front yard cleaned up, it just poured buckets."

Rogers recently purchased the home on Wade Street to give the organization she founded its first permanent address. In providing a project profile on the Make a Difference Day website, Cale wrote:

"Every week, 30 to 35 children from low-income, disadvantaged families receive a variety of opportunities and services through Payson Community Kids.... The children have a place of refuge and learning at an older home in a modest area of town. At this home, they help elderly neighbors, attend classes on a variety of subjects, and learn responsibility."

Rogers, who provided the group a lunch of chili beans, spaghetti, and potato casserole, was happy about the help.

"If you drive by the house, you'll see about 30 trash bags out there," she said. "It looks real good, and it really gave me a boost. When somebody helps you, you find more energy on your own."

Make a Difference Day, a national event initiated 12 years ago, encourages community volunteerism. While thousands of people around the country participated in a wide variety of service projects, Cale believes the genealogical society was the only Payson group participating.

For more information on Make a Difference Day, call (800) 416-3824 or visit the organization's website at makeadifferenceday.com.

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