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Make a Difference Day at SLU

At Saint Louis University, service to others is integrated into our mission and life on campus. We believe in using what we've learned to help others every day. But on one Saturday each fall, SLU does service in a particularly big way.

Welcome to Make a Difference Day

Thousands of students, faculty, staff and alumni spread out across the St. Louis area to volunteer at nonprofit agencies and give of themselves to make our community a better place. At a Habitat for Humanity project on Sheridan Avenue, dozens of Saint Louis University students help with landscaping and painting for a newly rehabilitated house.

This is Mary Hoele's third Make a Difference Day at SLU. "It really embodies the SLU mission of being men and women for others, reaching out to the community, being there for one another and working as a group towards the betterment of our community," she says. "I think that's a lot of what SLU stands for."

Student Service

In a Midtown St. Louis neighborhood, SLU students help fill the shelves at Food Outreach, an organization that provides nutritional support for those living with HIV/AIDS or cancer.

For volunteers like Tom O'Keefe, Make a Difference Day provides perspective on the world outside of SLU. "Service is definitely an integral part of the University, so anything we can do that gives us a better perspective of what's going on in the city, I think helps," O'Keefe says.

At several area elementary schools, SLU students work hand-in-hand with young children to make their schools look a little brighter.

Campus Community Involvement

For those participating in their first Make a Difference Day, it's inspiring to be part of such a University-wide effort.

"I thought it'd be a really good experience," Emily Huston-Warren says. "I was especially excited to come to an elementary school and help with the little kids and I was really surprised by how many people got involved."

In total, more than 3,000 SLU volunteers take part in Make a Difference Day each year, and all feel a sense of being part of a University-wide commitment. "It just takes a couple hours and you get so much stuff done," Monica Tesi says. "I think it's impressive to see that people care that much about the SLU community or the St. Louis area to make that kind of difference."