The day that put Wheaton on the map as one of America's most benevolent and philanthropic communities comes again Saturday, Oct. 22.
The third annual parade and festival highlights "Make A Difference Day" Saturday at Central Athletic Center in the former Hubble school.
The chamber has been collecting food for the and will continue to do so throughout the day in addition to hosting the festival of free games, activities and entertainment.
Laurie Swanson, the leader of the Make A Difference Day efforts in Wheaton said that after collecting a record 5,000 pounds of food last year, she and her team hope to double their feat in 2011.
“We want to get 10,000 pounds of food,” she said.
Stuff-A-Truck comes right in time for busy season at PRC, according to Susan Manning, director of marketing for PRC. “The food gives us the ability to offer healthy, nutritious choices to the hungry families of DuPage County,” she said.
“People’s Resource Center is extremely grateful for the donations Make A Difference Day provides,” said Manning.
With 64 drop-off locations in businesses throughout Wheaton this year, Swanson said she thinks there’s more awareness of the effort than last year.
Chamber businesses “took more ownership this year in making sure their box got filled," said Swanson. “As we continued to build momentum and awareness about this, now they’re like ‘hey, let me tell my customers about it.’”
She said she started Stuff-A-Truck three years because it seemed that food would be an easy item to collect from the community. But after a tour of the People’s Resource Center she realized the impact of their Make A Difference Day activities was profound.
“You walk through and you’re humbled by what we’re doing,” she said. “There are people within our area who, through illnesses or loss of job, where it’s just tough making ends meet—and they’re close—but this is making ends meet for them.
“It’s a well-honed machine over there, so it’s good to know you’re supporting that.”
Stuff –A–Truck, said Manning, is a "perfect example of neighbors helping neighbors, and that is what People’s Resource Center is all about.”
The Stuff-A-Truck Parade begins at noon Saturday the , 108 East Wesley Street and ends at the former Hubble school