7611 Piney Branch Road
Silver Spring, MD 20901
The mission of Difference Makers is to make a difference in the world at all community levels (local, national, and international). Our members understand that the small things do matter and that these small things can dramatically impact lives. They also 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.
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 TPMS, but the vision is to begin to expand the program to other schools. We have recently launched a DM Teen Ambassador Program which will provide additional leadership opportunities as members are engaged in philanthropic efforts through volunteering, fundraising, and special activities.
Our local projects include: Snow Angels (provides shoveling for 80+ elderly and disabled Takoma Park residents); Kokua Foods (distributes fresh produce/canned foods to over 90 food insecure families in Takoma Park and several shelters in the DC metro area in conjunction with a partnership with Wegmans); Global Youth Service Day (leads 200+ youth in the largest day of youth community service); Sweep the Creek (removes refuse in conjunction with Friends of Sligo Creek in the fall and spring); Thanks-for-Giving Program (gift card and canned food collection which provides four days’ worth of food to 80+ Takoma Park families); Clothing and food drives throughout the year; and Takoma Park Folk Festival (provides volunteer support with the setup/teardown of event and event T-shirt sales). Our regional projects include: Special Olympics MD (provides year-round volunteer support for Bowling, Basketball, and Bocce with score keeping, lunch service, and assisting athletes and fundraising through member participation in the Polar Bear Plunge); Extra-Ordinary Birthdays Program (donates handmade pinatas filled with candies and purchases supplies); Community Café Lunch Service (cooks and serves a hot meal to those in need onsite and provides a bagged lunch for later); and Reading Reconnects Families (provides reading materials to those that are incarcerated and/or in need). Our national/international projects include fundraising efforts for UNICEF, communities dealing with natural disasters, and Jude’s Hospital, as well as Newborns in Need (collect and make items for premature, ill, or impoverished newborns).