By Andrea Stone (Fort Carson)October 24, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- After recent flooding turned Iron Horse Park into a lake, leaving behind muck and debris, there's a need for volunteers to participate in Make a Difference Day, Oct. 26.
"This is a national volunteer day," said Joey Bautista, Fort Carson Army Volunteer Corps program manager. "It's not only us doing this, but it's throughout the United States of America."
This year's Fort Carson projects include improvements to Iron Horse Park, clearing debris from storm water drainage ditches and cleaning common areas, such as parks and playgrounds, he said.
Volunteers can select which project they'd like to work on, and even those who are limited in what activities they can do, can serve, Bautista said.
Last year, several wounded warriors came, including a volunteer in a wheelchair, he said. The volunteer was planning to help with registration, but ended up raking. Another volunteer encouraged his work.
"Someone else (gave) him the motivation to know that life never stops," he said. "No matter how hard, you (can) make something out of what you do."
That service to others is an integral part of the day.
"That's my goal, not only cleaning," Bautista said. "You can make a difference wherever you go."
The event kicks off at Iron Horse Park with a light breakfast and registration, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Lunch will also be provided, and the event concludes at 2 p.m.
Volunteers should bring rakes, if possible, work gloves and sturdy shoes. Some of the areas, especially drainage ditches, could be muddy. Trash bags and dumpsters will be provided.
"Come ready for any kind of weather," he said.
Projects in past years have included Turkey Creek Ranch, Iron Horse Park and several on-post reservoirs. Last year, 850 volunteers participated.
Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of community service, has been around for more than 20 years, according to the website, http://makeadifferenceday.com.
"We have a good time," he said. "I encourage everybody to come out. No matter how little you think you (can do) … you make a difference, either to yourself or to your community or to somebody else."