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Wheaton prepares for Make a Difference Day 2013

WHEATON – Residents will have the chance to get involved in their community during Make a Difference Day Oct. 26.

This will mark the city's 12th year participating in the national day of service, according to Community Relations Commission member Laurie Swanson.

"I think Wheaton historically has always been a community really built on service," Swanson said. "People really extend themselves to others here."

No act is too small, Swanson said, so long as it is in the spirit of making a difference.

"Awareness has continued to grow every year," Swanson said. "People are getting used to seeing our signs and our street pole signs encouraging people to do anything. You could rake your neighbor's leaves that day and we'll put it on the [Community Relations Commission] website."

This year, Wheaton will host a variety of activities, according to a news release from the city.

The Community Relations Commission is hoping to send a small care package to the 835 soldiers in the city's adopted battalion, the 1-18 Infantry or "The Big Red One." The collection lasts through Veterans Day Nov. 11.

Alongside donations of books from the Wheaton Public Library, the commission will include items such as packs of gum, beef jerky, Tic Tacs, powdered drink packets, puzzle books and hand-held battery-operated games. Collection boxes are located at City Hall, the Wheaton Public Library and the American Legion.

For more information or to assist with the collection, email Desiray Young at

The Wheaton Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a "Stuff-a-Truck" event to collect non-perishable food for the People's Resource Center, according to the release. The collection effort will end with the "Thanks Tons Festival" from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Make a Difference Day at the IIT Campus, 201 E. Loop Drive.

Visit for a full list of pick-up locations or contact Swanson at or 630-260-7821 for more information.

There will also be a group helping to clean up Adams Park from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Residents are invited to help trim, weed, rake and clear the area and are encouraged to bring their own tools. For more information, call Al Grant at 630-234-2252 or 630-653-1054.

For more information on how to start an activity for Make a Difference Day, email

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