Early Saturday morning, exhibitors got drenched while unloading their card, but by 10am when the Festival opened, the rain stopped and the community came, resulting in the most successful Make a Difference Festival ever. The clicker showed 886 attended, 400 shopping bags from the Community of Character were all passed out to the attendees.
Nonprofits reported that more people were volunteering than ever before. The Special Olympics booth had 80 people sign their sheets of those interested in helping at the coming basketball tournament. Sleep Heavenly Peace, who makes beds for children had 2 pages of volunteers, it was their first time at the festival.
The senior center was crowded and noisy, but that just added to the excitement of the Festival as nonprofit leaders explained their volunteer opportunities to those who stopped by. The JustServe booth explained how to find service opportunities through JustServe.org. There were opportunities to help seniors, the homeless, babies in need, those who have cancer, those with mental illnesses, even dogs and other animals, as well as recreational leagues, cultural arts and museums.
The Emergency Preparedness section of the Festival was busy also, with the Livermore/Pleasanton Fire Department’s display about Fire Safety and CERT, the Pleasanton Police Department had a table about Neighborhood Watch, unfortunately, the Police dog demos were rained out, as well as the fire truck and SWAT truck. Other tables manned by Emergency Preparedness experts from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, featured 72 hour kits, food and water storage, keeping important documents safe, Preserving Family History and others.
At the end of the day, nonprofit exhibitors were happy with numbers of new volunteers, those who came looking for ways to give back through community service were excited about their new opportunities and in these days of heavy rain and flooding, everyone could learn ways to protect their families.
Many thanks to sponsors of the festival: Accusplit: Make a Difference Programs, The Community of Character, Pleasanton Unified School District, City of Pleasanton, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, and Karlson-Lane.