TAMPA BAY, Florida -- On the fourth Saturday in October each year, the largest national day of service and volunteering kicks off with events around the country.
Make a Difference Day, sponsored by our sister publication USA Weekend Magazine, has hundreds of those events on its website, including one at Fort DeSoto where Ginger Gadsden, Joe Gumm, and others from the 10 News team worked with nonprofit Tampa Bay Watch to plant marsh grass that will boost water quality.
"What this plant does is it helps filter out a lot of the nutrients coming off the parking lot and the road here, so it protects the water quality before it enters into Tampa Bay," said Peter Clark, Tampa Bay Watch's president.
And the crew is happy to help, knowing they can see the difference they've made every time they visit. "I support Make a Difference Day because who doesn't want to make a difference, and how could you let all this beauty deteriorate?" said Gadsden.
Along 19th Street in St. Petersburg, Habitat for Humanity and Hands on Suncoast worked together on a house. They've worked on it for several weekends, going above and beyond Make a Difference Day, and expect to be able to hand the keys over to a deserving family in about a month.
And students at USF St. Petersburg organized a Letters to Soldiers drive, setting up stations for people to write notes to troops. The letters are expected to arrive overseas by Thanksgiving.
"I think Make a Difference Day is an awesome day to get people aware and motivated to do something for their community," said USFSP student Reeann Hansen.