FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood Army Community Service is scheduled to host a Make a Difference Day community service event from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday — volunteers should meet at Bldg. 486.

Make a Difference Day is a national observance celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October each year that encourages civic volunteerism. This year’s event marks the return of the observance to Fort Leonard Wood after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, said Army Emergency Relief Specialist and Army Volunteer Corps Program Manager Kristina Stump.

“The purpose of Make a Difference Day is to create an environment that allows service members, their families and retirees to appreciate the community where they reside, work and enjoy their down time,” said Stump, who organized this year’s event. “At this time, we have more than 400 volunteers from across the installation signed up to assist with clean-up projects, ranging from trash pickup, fence painting and basic landscaping, like hedge trimming and raking leaves.”

Participants are asked to sign in at the ACS building before heading to their assigned project sites, Stump said. Trash bags and gloves will be provided by ACS, and the Fort Leonard Wood USO will be on-hand to provide lunch for volunteers at ACS.

Stump recommended volunteers dress for the weather and take into consideration how morning temperatures may be chilly but could warm up throughout the day.

In addition to post beautification projects, Stump said a 5K run in solidarity with domestic violence survivors — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month — begins at 8 a.m. Participants are asked to register between 7 and 7:30 a.m. at ACS, and the starting and finishing location for the run is the south end of the Main Exchange parking lot.

Shawn Steen, chief of Army Community Services, thanked everyone who has already committed to participating, calling the event “a team effort.”

“Service members, civilians and family members join together and bring about change to the Fort Leonard Wood community,” he said. “From beautifying the different facilities and open areas in and around Fort Leonard Wood to participating in the Domestic Violence Awareness 5K, everyone truly makes a difference. Our community is a great place to live and work.”

Fort Leonard Wood’s Make a Difference Day event is open to anyone with post access. Those interested in volunteering can sign up through their unit, in person the day of the event or by calling 573.596.0613.