Volunteers Olin Baldwin, Eric Rakowski and Andrew Rakowski haul mulch for a renovation project of the Ottawa Elementary courtyard. Submitted photo

Archived Story

22 make a big difference in Buchanan

Published 4:43pm Monday, October 29, 2012

Members of First United Methodist Church in Buchanan were among the millions of people nationwide taking part in Make A Difference Day on Saturday.

Twenty-two volunteers completed two community service projects in Buchanan, serving more than 65 hours.

One project involved renovating the small courtyard at Ottawa Elementary School in Buchanan. Volunteers pulled overgrown weeds and put down a fabric cover that was later topped with red mulch.

“I just loved how it turned out,” said Mark Nixon, Ottawa Elementary principal. “Four classrooms overlook the space and the view has significantly improved.

Thanks to the renovation, the Ottawa courtyard will be used as an outdoor art space. Nixon said the school might partner with the church in other community service projects, including completing an outdoor classroom space in the school playground.

“They did some great work,” he said.

At Ravish Park, volunteers painted equipment and benches, cleaned up brush and leaves.

National Make a Difference Day engages more than two million volunteers across the United States in service. Make a Difference Day is sponsored locally by the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan. First United Methodist Church sponsored the Buchanan Projects in partnership with Ottawa School and the City of Buchanan.

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