MARIETTA - Hey, they just met you, and this is crazy, but some students from Marietta College want you to donate money for baby supplies outside Wal-mart on Pike Street this afternoon.
The group, referring to itself as "Call Me Baby" after the exceedingly catchy Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe" that's inspired countless viral video parodies, is an early participant in the college's annual Make a Difference Day event. Numerous other activities are planned throughout the area on Saturday.
The students will be collecting from 4 to 7 p.m. today outside Wal-mart, said Emily Mason, a Marietta student coordinating the project. Proceeds will be used to purchase diapers and supplies for Parkersburg-based Community Resources Inc., which provides those and other items to families in need.
Mason is one of more than 400 students expected to take part in activities for Make a Difference Day, an initiative of USA Weekend and the HandsOn Network, a division of the Points of Light Institute, that unites millions of volunteers in a day of service to their communities. The official event is held on the fourth Sunday in October, but due to local scheduling issues, Marietta's is happening this weekend, said Cristie Thomas, civic engagement coordinator for the college.
Thomas joined the college's Office of Civic Engagement over the summer, so this will be her first Make a Difference Day experience in Marietta.
"There's 20-plus projects that we can choose from, and I think they're all awesome," she said.
If You Go
What: Marietta College's Make a Difference Day.
When: Saturday (and over the next week).
Where: Starting at 8:30 a.m. at the amphitheater on the college campus before spreading out around the community.
Activities include: Collecting care packages for soldiers, mulching, painting, serving lunch, working at Halloween events and more.
Students will be painting and helping out with other work at Washington Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County in the Harmar Community Center, running a blood drive at the college's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center, helping the Harvest of Hope community garden on Hart Street prepare for the winter and collecting items like snacks, toiletries, batteries and puzzle books for soldier care packages at various points on campus. While most of the activities will take place during the day, students will also be working with Halloween-themed activities later in the day, including events at the Betsey Mills Club and Ely Chapman Education Foundation and the Zombie Walk in Harmar.
Other activities will take place after Saturday, such as students preparing and serving the weekly free Daily Bread Kitchen meal on Wednesday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Harmar.
Many of the projects are the idea and responsibility of students in the McDonough Leadership program's Lead 101 class, where participation is a part of the course requirements, Thomas said.
"I'm so excited to see the level of engagement that students have and the relationship between the community and Marietta College," she said.
Students can participate in the activities individually or as part of campus organizations, like sports teams, academic groups and fraternities and sororities.