Photography by Leo Corrales ’21

More than 50 Whitman College students donned work clothes on a brisk Saturday morning in late October to participate in the annual Make a Difference Day. Whitman students, along with a handful of parents and siblings, partnered with eight local organizations, such as Catholic Charities and the Sustainable Living Center, and dozens of community members in this national community service event. Activities ranged from serving brunch to YWCA Walla Walla clients to setting up a large fundraising event for the Blue Mountain Humane Society. Check out this two-part photo gallery of Whitties making a difference by sprucing up Pioneer Park in Walla Walla and tending to the Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Garden at Prospect Point Elementary School.

Pioneer Park

Elizabeth Green and Annie Xue

Elizabeth Green '18 (left), a sociology-environmental studies major, and Annie Xue '21 clear perennials from Pioneer Park.  

Elizabeth Green, Annie Xue and Noah Dunn
Left to right: Green, Xue and Noah Dunn '21 remove dead flowers in Pioneer Park. Green has Made a Difference all four of her years at Whitman.  

Noah Dunn 
Dunn tosses cleared perennials into a trailer in Pioneer Park. He said he enjoys "helping other people." Dunn added, "It's valuable in itself to do service work."  

Noah Dunn  
Dunn pulls perennials in Pioneer Park as part of the winterizing efforts.  

Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Garden  

Erin Lopez
Erin Lopez '19 (foreground), a politics major, puts into practice instructions from Beth Thiel, coordinator for Walla Walla Valley Farm to School (background). Thiel has pitched in at Make a Difference Day for five years. She remains "amazed" by the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the amount of tasks they get done, she said.  

Rhone Grajcar
Rhone Grajcar '21 (front) loads wilted plants into a wheelbarrow.

Erin Lopez and Rhone Grajcar
Left to right: Lopez, Thiel and Grajcar tackle different sections of the Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Garden at Prospect Point Elementary School.

Nikki Antenucci, Bryn Hines  
Left to right: Thiel; Nikki Antenucci '18, a psychology major; and Bryn Hines '21, an anthropology major, look for any last chores to finish. Make a Difference Day "gets me off campus and is a fun way to hang out with friends and family," said Antenucci.