EL PASO, Texas -- Volunteers from seven Fort Bliss units and the Directorate of Public Works went into the surrounding area Oct. 23 to spruce up the community and mentor disabled children in honor of national Make a Difference Day.

In previous years, the installation supported two main efforts to volunteer on post. Going off post this year underlined how the installation's growth affects the community positively, according to Army Community Service Volunteer Corps agent Alison Brown.

"We support more agencies by dispersing the Soldiers into the city as well as the installation," said Brown, who coordinated the day's activities. "It also helps with the cohesion of Fort Bliss and the El Paso community; it makes Fort Bliss a part of the El Paso community."

The Child Crisis Center of El Paso was among the sites visited. During Saturday's volunteer event, Soldiers of the 93rd Military Police Battalion painted boys' bedrooms and spent time with children, which was not a part of the initial cause.

"We are doing more than what we came here for," said Sgt. 1st Class Juan Rodriguez, first sergeant of the battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Battery. "It goes beyond painting; it has an impact on the kids too."

Rodriguez said volunteering at the center is something he takes personally, because of his familiarity with the services offered there. He represented the Army proudly, considering this a way to give back to them specifically.

"This is near and dear to my heart," he said, "because I've had experiences with the Child Crisis Center before."

Other places visited for volunteer project work were the American Red Cross; Boys and Girls Club of El Paso; Candelighters; El Paso Public Library, Dorris Van Doren Branch; El Paso Zoological Society; Great Dane Rescue of El Paso and Miracle League of El Paso.

Make a Difference Day also signified the end of the donation drive to benefit the Humane Society and the Junior Enlisted Family Center, which ran from Oct. 1 through 23.