Organized by the Wooster Volunteer Network (WVN), Rake-a-Difference is an an- nual service event connecting the College with the larger Wooster community. During Rake-a-Difference, students and volunteers rake yards in Wooster with their friends. It tends to be a fun, relaxing event — donuts are provided and it’s a good time to wind down while helping out the community. Rather than be- ing an isolated College event, Wooster students interact with local community members who also participate. Turnout tends to be around three to five hun- dred students, giving the net- work a good amount of helping hands to combat the pile-up of fallleaves.Often,Greekgroups participate in Rake-a-Difference as it helps them with their community service hours.
On the executive side, WVN President Koral Kasnyik ’20 stated, “What some people don’t realize is that the WVN execu- tive board spends weeks pre- paring beforehand, and we walk door to door hand-delivering fliers to those in the community the week of the event.” WVN has mapped out eight routes throughout the town and the network walked all eight routes last weekend handing out fliers with the necessary information — if community members want their lawns raked, they leave the flyer on their front door to signal volunteers to rake there. For the past week, WVN has continued to hand out flyers in order to have as much outreach as possible and to help spread awareness of the event. Community service events often seem to magically pop up, with participants fully briefed, and sign up sheets simply posted on various corkboards around the school and with everything coalescing into a meaningfully pleasant experience on the day itself. This makes it even more important to take into account all the work that goes into making something as seemingly relaxing as Rake-a-Difference possible. Still, despite all the grueling effort it takes to make Rake a Difference possible, Kasnyik says it’s “so much fun to get off campus for a little bit and get to interact with community members and some- times even their kids and dogs.” Kasnyik has been involved in both organizing and raking for the last four years.
WVN member Rachel Semel ’22, calls Rake a-Difference the network’s “biggest event of the year” and emphasizes that “it’s a chance to help out our Wooster community.” In such a small town, building connections is important to the social well- being and fabric of the community, and small actions — such as raking a yard — often have larger effects on both the College and the larger Wooster community. Additionally, inter- acting with neighbors is never a bad thing, especially if they have friendly dogs.
Rake-a-Difference is a valu- able community event that helps to bridge the gap between the College and the local com- munity, complete with donuts.
Rake-a-Difference will take place Saturday, Nov. 9. If you’d like to participate, the network will be tabling on Friday for students to sign up. Questions? The Wooster Volunteer Net- work board encourages you to reach out to them.