Make A Difference Day, Butte County - On the morning of October 23rd, Chico State Wildcats and community members gathered to have a day of service. The event consisted of student and community members volunteering at one of five volunteer sites. Despite the rainy weather over 75 volunteers showed up to the event and got straight to work.

Volunteer sites included the Boys and Girls Club, Chico State Compost Garden, Bidwell Park, the Chico State Bike Path, and beautifying downtown with the Downtown Chico Ambassadors. The event was held from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and had an optional lunch happening in Lower Bidwell Park from Noon to 1 p.m. All volunteers received a t-shirt, stickers, and were entered into a Klean Kanteen giveaway where six winners were picked at random.

At the Chico Boys and Girls Club, volunteers were divided into two groups and given different tasks to complete. The first group cleaned vans and helped organize study spaces while the second group cleaned the front desk area, the main office, the kitchen, and organized toys. Additionally, volunteers helped organize, clean, and sanitize common areas.

Another project involved volunteers helping in the AS Sustainability's compost garden. Their main focus was clearing the space so that the compost team could begin planting herbs and vegetables. Volunteers raked leaves, moved rocks and hay, and reorganized various sections of the garden. By the end, the compost garden was cleaned up and planting had begun. Nhung, a volunteer at the garden, said “It was a nice experience to help clean up the Compost Garden.” Another volunteer, Sara, said “I had the best time ever. I learned so much about composting and even had an opportunity to plant veggies in the garden! It was raining and I still had a blast! I’m so glad I had an opportunity to volunteer and learn all at the same time! I have plans to go back and check on what I planted!"

At the Bidwell Park service site, volunteers helped manage vegetation by removing invasive species. Volunteers were given safety instructions as well as different tools and supplies to get rid of blueberry bushes and grapevines that were taking over the area. Our community partners, Shane and Kevin, made sure everyone was educated about the different plants and how they’re helping the surrounding areas. This work will help the native plants and trees grow better now that the surrounding vegetation has been cleared. A volunteer at the site, Samantha, said she “Had an amazing time. It made me feel good about doing something to give back to the community!"

The Bike Path cleanup took place at the bike path that Chico State recently adopted, along the train tracks on the West side of campus. The site leads provided volunteers with gloves, trash bags, vests, and trash pickers. They were split into groups and given safety instructions. Volunteers collected lots of trash and beautified the area. One of the volunteers, Kendall Ross, said "We received multiple thank-yous from community members walking by!"

The Downtown Chico Ambassadors led volunteers in beautifying “Lost Park” in downtown Chico, as well as the bordering parking lot. They raked leaves, picked up garbage, and helped clean up the area for the unhoused community living nearby. They also had members of the unhoused community come and help them clean up garbage from the areas, and they expressed appreciation to the volunteers. Malik, a volunteer said “It was good to get involved and help the community. We worked with the homeless population by cleaning up the park and making it a more suitable environment for them."

After the event volunteers were able to enjoy a barbeque provided by the Chico Police Officers’ Association. They grilled both regular and veggie hot dogs for the volunteers. Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) would like to thank everyone who participated in Make a Difference Day, Butte County, and helped beautify the community.