Non-profit Organization: Difference Makers Inc.
EIN (employer identification number): 27-1514420
- Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910
- 9295 Maxwell Court, Laurel MD 20723
Difference Makers is a student founded, student run organization, founded in 2009 by a group of Takoma Park Middle School students.
The club is currently primarily an after-school student service program at Takoma Park Middle School but the vision is to begin to expand the program to other schools. The club has grown from about 40 members in the 2009–2010 school year to approximately 160 members this current school year. Our expansion is only limited to our resources. During our first 5 years of operation we have never raised money for the organization itself. All fundraising has been to assist other organizations. A primary example of this is that during the past 7 years Difference Makers has raised over $62,000 for the Maryland Special Olympics of which almost $35,000 has been directed to the Montgomery County Special Olympics Foundation.
The mission of the organization is to make a difference in the world at all community levels (local, national, and international). Members understand that the small things do matter, and that these small things can dramatically impact lives. Members understand that it is important to develop the leadership, scholarship, and citizenship of our youth, this is why these are the three pillars upon which Difference Makers has been built and on which it continues to grow and develop.
The organizational objectives are as follows:
- To practice and promote good citizenship in the home, school, community and nation
- To promote high standards of scholarship and conduct in the school
- To serve those in need as all levels of the community
- To develop leadership through unselfish service
- To develop a positive altruistic attitude
- To maintain high academic standards
- To lead by example
- To be a participator not a spectator
Current projects carried out by Difference Makers
Local Projects serving the Takoma Park community
- Snow Angels snow shoveling program – implemented in winter of 2015. Provided service to 42 Takoma Park residents, we did this in conjunction with Lifelong Takoma. We have developed a strong relationship with Lifelong Takoma and will continue serving the community through several Lifelong Takoma programs.
- Global Youth Services Day – day of service for the Takoma Park Community (2012 and 2013) – students go into community to clean-up, collect donations of food, clothing, toys, and books.
- Takoma Park Community Clean-ups (fall and spring) in conjunction with Friends of Sligo Creek
- School yard landscaping – every spring students pull weeds and provide basic landscaping for Takoma Park Middle School
- Recycling and Conservation at the school level
- Thanks-for-Giving Program – feeding Takoma Park Families – (food drive for Takoma Park families – we usually provide four days’ worth of food to 80 or more Takoma Park families – sometimes we have to drop the food off due to the lack of transportation for the recipients.
- Clothing and food drives for Shepherds Table – we conduct drives through-out the year in which we drop donations off at the shepherds table
- Participation in the annual Takoma Park Folk Festival
- Kokua food distribution
- Takoma Park 4th of July Festival
Regional (within the state of Maryland)
- Provide volunteer support and fundraising for Special Olympics MD (year round)
- C & O canal clean-up
- Support to the Extra Ordinary Birthdays Program (birthdays for homeless children)
- Samaritans Chest – gifts for the needy
- Service at the Community Café (lunch service for those in need)
- Reading Reconnects Families (providing reading materials to those that are incarcerated and/or in need)
- Special Olympics (Bowling, Basketball, and Bocce)
- UNICEF fundraiser
- Fundraising efforts for communities dealing with natural disasters
- Newborns in Need
- Race for Hope
- Jude’s Hospital