Daily Point of Light # 1811 Jan 11, 2001

Spruce Creek Elementary Making a Difference Group of Port Orange, Florida is dedicated to uplifting those that are down trodden and taking an active part in making their home a better place. Their mission is not limited but encompasses the entire community. The Making a Difference Group is a newly formed organization at Spruce Creek Elementary. The Group is made up of 5th graders, and most of them have had prior volunteer experience from other organizations. The idea to start Making a Difference Group was inspired after participating in Make A Difference Day. The children wanted to continue their efforts as opposed to working one day to impact Port Orange.

This group is creative, uses unique ideas, and perseveres to be “finishers.” They refuse to let obstacles hinder their drive and use stumbling blocks as opportunities to reevaluate planned projects and make them even better. Spruce Creek Elementary students in this program inspire other young people and adults to take an active part in their community. It is estimated that they have impacted over 750 students to date.

The volunteer activities of the group have spanned to distinct areas in their community. The Making a Difference Group has established a place to assist needy families called the Bobcat Boutique. This store is a place of relief and allows those in need to be able to have additional clothing items. They have also collected personal items and were able to create more than 115 care packages for homeless families. In addition to this, the group amassed food items and was able to distribute Thanksgiving food baskets to needy families in the community. The I-Care center has also benefited from the work of this talented group of young people. They were the recipients of new and gently used books gathered by the students.

The volunteer activities of this group have had a positive impact on their community. The families that have been fed and clothed are just some of the evidences of the dedicated youth. People who are able to read at the I- Care Center are also recipients of their hard work. The Palmetto Place Advocates have also recognized the Making a Difference Group for their contribution to society.

The group meets weekly to brainstorm. They come together and share ideas while devising strategies for additional projects. Once they have agreed on a project, they plan, prepare and set goals. After the strategizing is done, there is no stopping these children until the project has been completed.

The Making a Difference Group of Spruce Creek Elementary is a shining example of teamwork. This group of 5th graders work hard to make their community a better place for all. They enjoy baseball, kickball and recess; but they get a greater sense of well being when they know they have been able to help someone. They are self motivated and excited about making Port Orange a community of excellence.