Posted: 11/06/19

TAMIU’s ‘Make a Difference Day’ Impressively Lives Up to Its Name



Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students, staff, faculty and alumni  truly lived up to “Make A Difference Day” last Saturday, Nov. 2 by participating in three impactful community service experiences.

All told, volunteers generated 2,326 service hours with an equivalent monetary impact projected at $76,172.    

Starting at 7 a.m.  at The Outlet Shoppes downtown, some 313 volunteers, a 136% increase over last year’s TAMIU Make A Difference Day, served.  TAMIU undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni  powered three different service activities: a mobile food-packing partnership with Feed My Starving Children, Juan Ramírez Park beautification initiatives with Keep Laredo Beautiful and Jamboozie Festival site preparations with Laredo Main Street. 

Volunteers also showed how they  “Go Beyond” by setting a new TAMIU national record for meal packing and production of over 77,544 meals of the total 109,080 meals completed for the Feed My Starving Children effort. The group easily exceeded their goal of 100,000 meals packed.

The service hours generated Saturday were part of a student-led year-long goal of 50,000 Service Hours delivered as part of a  Service Challenge observing the University’s 50th Anniversary.

Organized through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement and TAMIU’s Student Government Association L.O.V.E. Committee, Saturday’s event helped to make a lasting impact both in the local community and throughout the world, explained Consuelo Guzman, L.O.V.E. Committee chair.  

“Our community’s quality of life is important to our University. As an international university, our community includes the rest of the world. Whether through one-day or year-round service, our students learned the importance of engaging in the community to become better servant leaders and the importance of  developing a long-term commitment to social change.  As the event maintains, we can make a difference,” explained Guzman.

This year’s community partners included Feed My Starving Children, TAMIU professor of Education Dr. Tonya Huber, The Outlet Shoppes of Laredo, Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Laredo Main Street and Keep Laredo Beautiful. 

Mayra Hernández, TAMIU director of Student Conduct and Community Engagement said initiatives like TAMIU Make a Difference Day help to distinguish the TAMIU student experience.

“There’s often an unfair image of students not being invested in their community, of being passive participants in life. Our students take an active role in their community and realize the difference a committed individual can make.  Whether it’s packing food for a starving child on the other side of the world, repainting  a park bench here or cleaning up our shared environment…our students make a difference.  This distinguishes them and provides them with an expanded range of real-world experiences that will impact their future and that of others,” Hernández said.

Since 2010, TAMIU students have worked on various community-wide projects benefiting groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Volunteers Serving the Need, the Laredo Animal Care Facility, the Azteca Neighborhood, Ruthe B. Cowl and many more.

Learn more  by contacting the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement at 956.326.2265, or visit offices in the Student Center, room 226. To learn more about past Make A Difference Day projects, visit https://www.tamiu.edu/scce/madandtbe.shtml.  See event photos in a dedicated TAMIU “Make A Difference Day” gallery at: https://www.facebook.com/txamiu/posts/10158815136895730 

Those interested in continuing to support the ongoing Feed My Starving Children drive in Laredo can do so through Dec. 31, 2019.  Contact TAMIU College of Education Professor Dr. Tonya Huber for more information at 956.326.2678. 

Throughout 2019-2020, TAMIU is celebrating its 50th   Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus.  A dedicated website shares the University’s transformation from a hybrid upper-level university to a full doctoral degree-granting University. It traces the University’s history, shares its impact in personal stories and includes a calendar of Anniversary events at tamiu.edu/50.

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Related Gallery Link: https://www.facebook.com/txamiu/posts/10158815136895730 

Students at Make a Difference Day
Some 300+ volunteers at TAMIU's "Make a Difference Day" at The Outlet Shoppes celebrate another successful food pack, just one of three service opportunities generating 2,300+ service hours.