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Projects celebrate neighbors helping neighbors

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Build a playground or a greenhouse, decorate birdhouses and bird feeders

By Special to the Monitor

If you like to build things, work outdoors and want to make a difference in the lives of others, then you’re just the kind of volunteer the National Make A Difference Day wants. Three projects are being coordinated by the Community Programs Office and are part of the Lab’s 2010 “Growing Our Communities” employee-giving campaign.

Projects are planned in Los Alamos and Española and Santa Fe on Oct. 23-24. Lab employees, family members, contractors and retirees can sign up for the projects from the employee-giving campaign Web page. Participants will be required to sign a liability release waiver. For volunteers under the age of 18, parents will have to participate with them and sign the waiver.

 National Make A Difference Day is a national celebration of neighbors helping neighbors and accomplishing projects large and small across the United States.

At the Lab, you can sign up to build a playground and remodel the visitation center at the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and Court Appointed Special Advocates office in Española; build a greenhouse at Casa Mesita Group Home in Los Alamos; or assemble and decorate birdhouses and bird feeders for the United Way of Santa Fe County’s Children’s Project. The Santa Fe project is at Kaune Elementary School, 1409 Monterey Drive.

“You don’t need to be a master craftsman or an expert painter to volunteer for any of the projects. You need only be willing to give of your time to make a difference in the lives of others,” Community Programs Office Director Kurt Steinhaus said. “Laboratory employees have consistently stepped up to the plate and demonstrated their willingness to reach out to others in need. Taking part in National Make A Difference Day is another way employees can show that they care about those who are less fortunate,” he said.

In Española, Lab volunteers are needed to prepare the site, set a foundation, pour concrete, lay ground fabric for the playground and assemble and set up new playground equipment. Volunteers also are needed to clean the visitation facility, assemble new furniture, catalog library books, paint, set up shelving and stock inventory.

 At Casa Mesita Group Home in Los Alamos, employee volunteers are needed to prepare the site, set the foundation, lay ground fabric and assemble and raise the 10-foot-by-12-foot greenhouse.

In Santa Fe, employees will build and paint new birdhouses and bird feeders. The finished products will become part of the Santa Fe Children’s Project Birds of New Mexico classroom instruction for pre-kindergarten and afterschool programs. Employees are asked to bring their own hammers, screwdrivers and drills for this volunteer project.

For more information, contact Community Programs or call 665-4400.