Difference Makers – angels who dig snow

Photo: The Difference Club with supervisor Bryan Goehring. Photo by Jackie Camer.

BY JACKIE CAMER

The bustling noise every Wednesday afternoon is made by the Difference Makers, a student run club at Takoma Park Middle School, serving their school and the community.

This winter, the club joined with the City’s Lifelong Takoma Program to help residents who were physically unable to remove snow from their steps, driveways and sidewalks. It was a service that ran over 8 weeks and helped 42 homes.

“We were known as the Snow Angels, but to be honest it was a fun thing to do, and people were really grateful,” said 7th grader Jacob Palosky.

The Snow Angels and Karen Maricheau, Lifelong Takoma program manager, are featured in this Montgomery County Media video.

Shoveling show was just one of the Difference Makers projects planned this year. They tend to keep busy, their current project is selling candy grams to support the children at St Jude’s Hospital. “We are always doing a project, but you know if an organization asks the Difference Makers to do something, we will do not only for our school but for the community,” said Palosky.

“The goal is to do one project a month,” said their supervisor Bryan Goehring. For example, in a couple of weeks I plan to take the kids to the Special Olympics to serve food, keep score and hand out medallions.

When asked if he liked the sudden media attention, he said, “Not necessarily, but it sort of snowballed, I don’t want the kids thinking that they should be getting awards for what they do, I want to teach them that it’s the right thing to do.”

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Difference Club members working on candy-gram project. Photo by Jackie Camer.

The Difference Makers club is planning raise money for a 15 passenger van. “We’ve never raised money for our club before, we always raised it for another organization. It’s funny because we already have ideas on how to paint the van,” said Goehring. With 157 club members, Goehring has been renting vans to transport the students to events, “I don’t want the students to be limited based on how many seats I have in my car.”

There will be an Appreciation Ceremony for the club on Monday, March 23rd at the Community Center, 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD.  The reception begins at 6:45pm and ends at 7:30pm.  In between there will be a proclamation given by the mayor.

Van-fund donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/dmvanfundraiser.

About the Author

Jackie Camer
Is a senior at Northwood High School. Currently she is editor of her high schools literary magazine. She plans to major in Communications and Media. When not writing, you can find her playing with her goldendoodle Sandy.