Residents are ready to make a difference

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Fighting racism. Feeding the hungry. Finding time for seniors. Just your typical Saturday in Natchez.

Actually, several Miss-Lou organizations will celebrate Make a Difference Day Saturday with a variety of projects community members are invited to join.

Make a Difference Day is an annual national movement designed to encourage corporations and volunteer organizations to sponsor service projects in their communities. It was created in 1992 by USA&160;Weekend magazine and The Points of Light Foundation.

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The Natchez Mayor’s Youth Council will hold &uot;One Natchez&uot; — a rally against racism — at 1 p.m. at the Main Street Marketplace downtown.

At the rally, members of the youth council as well as other area students will speak.

All Natchez residents are invited to join the rally, youth council members said.

&uot;If people don’t come that means they don’t think racism is a problem and they don’t think we need to do something about it,&uot; said Rene\u00E9 Davis of Natchez High School as she pointed to a statement on the flier for the event: &uot;Your presence is your statement.&uot;

In the morning, several members of the youth council will volunteer at the NAPAC Museum for Afro-American Culture, arranging displays and cataloguing items.

But the Mayor’s Youth Council isn’t the only group tackling a tough problem head on.

The city’s Ruritan clubs, which last year won The Natchez Democrat’s Make a Difference Day award, will have a full slate of activities, from collecting canned goods and clothing for the needy to delivering dinners to seniors.

Ruritan’s schedule includes collecting canned goods; selling barbecue plates to raise money for the homeless and for Crime Stoppers; and delivery of dinners to sick and shut-in senior citizens of Louisiana.

The group’s goal is to raise $1,000 for school uniforms and collect $1,000 for Crime Stoppers. Members also hope to collect more than 500 canned food items and clothing items for Front Store Mission in Ferriday.

Residents are invited to join the Ruritan clubs’ effort.

New Hope Vision Center, meanwhile, is inviting people to join its effort to clean and remodel a building that will be home to the Freely for the Needy Clothing Closet and the Lord’s Food Pantry. The Clothing Closet gives clothing to needy families, while the Lord’s Food Pantry provides food to families in need.

Two school groups will also take part in Make a Difference Day projects, although the students do not need extra community volunteers.

Central Alternative School students and faculty are collecting canned food items, which they will deliver to the Stewpot. Central students are stopping with Make a Difference Day, however; once a month they will volunteer to serve the noon meal at the Stewpot.

On Saturday, Central students will visit the residents of the Adams County Nursing Home, where the school choir will sing and students will give gifts to the residents.

Morgantown Elementary School’s Junior Beta Club will sponsor a Cohesiveness Day Saturday for faculty and staff. The goal of the lunch, which includes musical entertainment, is to allow the faculty and staff to get to know each other so that they can better serve the students.

Beta Club sponsor Barbara Winston said Make a Difference Day fits the club’s motto: &uot;Let us lead by serving others.&uot;

For more information about Make a Difference Day, visit the organization’s Web site at