The weather is cooling and that means it is almost time to roll up your sleeves and get involved with your community on Make A Difference Day. A record number of projects (20) have been posted on Make A Difference Day is Oct. 26, but McKinney is so giving, we are doing some projects on Oct. 3-6 and Oct. 21-25, too. Volunteers can log on and register for the project that appeals most. We are introducing our new software that makes it even easier to sign up yourself or your team for a project. Also, project managers from the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute are assisting the agency in coordinating their projects.

McKinney Online

Photos courtesy Volunteer McKinney

Click here to view a video of Make A Difference Day 2012.

Event sponsors this year are the City of McKinney, McKinney Community Development Corporation and Bank of Texas. Our In-kind sponsors to date are Market Street and Baylor McKinney.

This year, local restaurants are hosting “After-Parties” for all participating volunteers. The host restaurants are Brothers Pizza-Downtown, Raising Canes on University Drive and Italian Garden on Custer Road.

Make A Difference Day Projects 2013

CASA of Collin County, Inc.

Volunteers will give the CASA property a fall ‘make over’, including landscaping and clean up, interior organization and cleaning, and oiling the wood paneling around the office to help maintain a clean and professional feel for our clients.

City of McKinney

The Storm Water Inlet Marking (SWIM) project is an environmental public education program sponsored by the City of McKinney. The project’s goal is to raise awareness of storm water issues and encourage residents to protect water resources. Every storm water inlet in McKinney must be marked to deter residents from dumping trash and chemicals into the waterways. Volunteer teams will install aluminum storm markers at designated storm inlets and distribute door hangers with information about the inlet marking with steps to keep inlets clean.

Embrace Texas

Children are removed from unsafe situations in Collin County and placed in foster care 24 hours a day. The Embrace PALs program helps foster parents focus on the children when they arrive in the foster home by providing car seats, baby equipment, and a week’s worth of clothing/diapers to each family upon their request. On Make A Difference Day we will be sorting clothing by size/gender, packaging diapers, and organizing our storage unit that houses all of our PALs materials and supplies.

Chestnut Square Historic Village

To preserve the history at Chestnut Square, volunteers will be giving a make-over to the Carriage House building through general maintenance and exterior painting on Make A Difference Day.


Community Lifeline Center

In appreciation for our hard-working, dedicated staff members and volunteers, we will be stuffing appreciation ‘goody bags’ to thank them for all they do for our clients and the community.

Children and Community Health Center

In order to help make the clinic look bright, clean, and cheery for our clients, volunteers will be painting, cleaning out closets, packaging items for patients, installing towel & soap dispensers, hanging pictures and general cleanup.

McKinney Online

Badge Covers for 1st Responders

When a policeman or firefighter is killed in the line of duty, officers traditionally cover their badges with a black elastic cover out of respect. For this project, community members will cut and sew memorial badge covers for McKinney Police and Fire Fighters and officers from the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.

McKinney ISD Council of PTA

We will conduct a food drive at all elementary and middle schools in support of the McKinney Food Pantry. The food drive is a competitive, week-long event where schools collect canned fruit to benefit local families in need. The food will be donated and sorted on Make A Difference Day by volunteers.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Texas is the leading state in drunk driving fatalities, so on Make A Difference Day volunteers will be creating handmade cards to send the families of victims. These cards are a small but meaningful way to reach out to those affected by drunk driving.

Teens for the Cure of Komen North Texas

Teens for the Cure will be organizing volunteers to create greeting cards for breast cancer survivors. As survivors are recovering from various procedures, these cards can brighten their day and bring hope.

North Collin County Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers will work on 2 homes in low-income neighborhoods in McKinney. We will be doing siding and trim repair as well as exterior painting and replacing two windows. Habitat’s work helps our McKinney neighbors make a house a home and improve the quality of underprivileged neighborhoods.

Meals on Wheels and Senior Services in Collin County

In appreciation to our regular volunteers and their continued service to our clients, we will be assembling “thank you” goody bags on Make A Difference Day to distribute to our volunteers.

Environmental Services

The Drug Take-Back event provides participants with an opportunity to safely dispose of all accumulated expired, unwanted and unused prescription drugs. Volunteers will assist in collecting medications that are dropped off by participants and disposing of them in an appropriate manner.


Community Food Pantry

The canned fruit from school food drives will be delivered to the Food Pantry on Make A Difference day, and volunteers will organize and sort the food at the Pantry.

McKinney Housing Authority

In appreciation of our volunteers for Make A Difference Day, the residents of the McKinney Housing Authority will be assembling goody bags to deliver to volunteers on Oct. 26.

McKinney Online


Volunteers will assist us with various organizing and sorting projects in preparation for our annual Gaitapalooza event that is coming in November.

Especially Needed

Volunteers will help set up for the annual Fall Carnival benefiting children with special needs. Loading and unloading the trailer as well as booth and carnival game set-up will be completed on Make A Difference Day.

Commemorative Air Force

Volunteers will support check-in and general volunteer management for the Commemorative Air Force event the first weekend in October.

Letters from Home

To show support for our active duty military, volunteers will write letters of encouragement and thanks on Make A Difference Day. Those letters will be delivered to active duty military after the event.

SPCA of Texas

Volunteers will help clean four large sea containers and sort/organize the contents on Make A Difference Day.


Volunteer McKinney has been committed to volunteerism in the McKinney area since 1998. This past year, we have focused on being an integral part of this community and through our web site, we have connected to over 80 local nonprofits and reach out to over 5,000 people every month.

“Make A Difference Day” is a national event sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, the Hands On Network and USA Weekend. McKinney has participated for the past 14 years. Over the years, this event has offered volunteers a chance to “Make A Difference” by serving for just one day. Many of them return to local nonprofits and commit to regular service, giving this community more “Volunteer Power” to change the lives of those in need.

“We are excited about this year’s line-up of 20 projects," said Dana Riley, Volunteer McKinney Executive Director. "They benefit many local nonprofits and will engage over 400 volunteers in service. McKinney is one of the few cities in this area that host this national event each year and we are proud of what this community can accomplish in such a short time.”