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Making a Difference in the World: Can You Do It?

Updated on November 5, 2013

Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room. - Christine Todd Whitman

Feed the Hungry


What's Making a Difference?

Who can make a difference? Anyone. You don't have to be a special age or race or religion. You don't have to have a lot of money or live in a fancy neighborhood though some might think that helps. To make a difference you have to be someone who cares. That's the main ingredient for making a difference, caring.

Definitions of difference vary from "altering something", "the effect of something on something else" or just "being different". Making a difference would fall under the "alter" and "effect" definitions. When you make a difference you alter the state of something/someone or you cause an effect somehow. That effect is usually an improvement. For example when you try to make a difference in the environment you are usually trying to make an improvement that will save the environment.

So, knowing anyone can make a difference leads you to so many ways to making a difference. Being the cause of the alteration or improvement, you can do it once, you can do it on a regular basis, you can do it daily or less or more frequently. It all depends on you and what you want to do and what you can do. Obviously a mother with a job and five children is making a difference in her own life and home but might not have time to go out into the world and make a difference. Educating her children to respect others and the earth is a good start in making a difference. Her good example to her children is making a difference in their lives for now and for the future.

It doesn't matter what size of difference you make or how you make it, just do it, make a difference in the world.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Charles Dickens

Feed a Homeless Child


Ways to Make a Difference With Children

So you wake up one morning and you decide today is the day you're going to make a difference in the world! You sit on the edge of your bed, and wonder, just how am I going to make a difference?

Have you read about car accidents among teenage drivers? According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles the accident rate for 16 to 19 year olds is higher than any other age group. Regardless of the cause, it is certainly a problem. The place to start trying to reduce teenage drivers' accidents? In your own home. Work with your teenager. Be sure he/she knows about responsible driving and its effects on him and others on the road with him. If you have a good rapport, talk to his/her friends about safe driving. Making an impression on just one teenage driver could make a difference.

Cyberbullying is on the rise. The freedom technology allows is almost an incentive for the bully. He thinks no one will know who he is so he is free to intimidate and often terrorize someone. It's difficult to escape the bully because he is always there. He can get into emails, social media sites, and the heads of his friends. What can you do? Learn more about Cyberbullyiing. Make sure that the teachers in your children's school are educated about Cyberbullying and are doing their best to prevent it. Check with local Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups to make sure they are aware of Cyberbullying and they too are educating the boys and girls about Cyberbullying.

How about something as easy as getting a child to read a book? Don't laugh. How many kids do you see carrying a book around on a Saturday versus carrying a cell phone or iPad. How many kids do you know that spend their spare time reading rather than playing a video game? Our wonderful technology has taken so many children away from reading, depriving them of the pleasure and knowledge derived from reading a book. Let children see you reading a book. Share your books with children by donating those you've read to a shelter or local library. What about buying a children's book and leaving it in a place where a child will find it and possibly read it? Did you know there is a site called "" that helps you circulate a book and track its circulation? Interesting.

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond...” ― Jessy and Bryan Matteo

Apple Slices for the Poor


Can You Make a Difference?

See results

Making a Difference in a Child's Life

What about the life of a child? The child who doesn't have enough to eat or a place to sleep? At least one parent is living with that child and dealing with the day to day stress of what to do. Can you help? Even in small ways, yes.

I found a suggestion on that really caught my eye. Of course it is difficult to tell for sure if the person is really homeless but that doesn't matter. Better to be duped than to pass by someone really needing your help. Back to my point. On that site, they suggested buying meal cards and giving them to the homeless. I'm not talking about fifty dollar gift cards, but the dollar or two deals. McDonald's has seasonal coupon books, they offered a book for one dollar and it contained twelve coupons, three free of each of the following items: apple dippers, hamburger, small cone, and small juice/milk jug. What a great idea to buy a few and given them to a homeless person with a child. Imagine them having a complete meal at McDonald's and you only paid a dollar? You can also purchase a McDonald's Arch card for five dollars, ten dollars or more and give that to a homeless person with a child.

While not always viewed as a necessity in a child's growth or health development, a toy is something every child needs and it can help a child grown and learn. You can clean up and donate old toys or you can buy new ones. Local social services offices, children's agencies, and such will accept gently used toys. New toys can be left at hospitals or given to the yearly Toys for Tots drive.

Simple, inexpensive ways to help a child in your area.

“Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we're here. To make each other feel safe.”
― Andre Agassi

Hats to Share the Warmth


Places to Volunteer; Some Ideas

  • Big Brother or Big Sister
  • A local hospital
  • A local school
  • A soup kitchen
  • A food pantry
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Community Cleanup
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Toys for Tots
  • A local nursing home

Making a Difference In An Adult's Life

More skeptical, more angry, and harder to deal with than children, how can you make a difference in an adult's life?

Similar to what I suggested about children, you can give a homeless person a meal coupon or gift card. Doing it that way you know they will use it for food. What about giving a homeless person a blanket? Your old discarded blanket could mean the difference between a cold night's sleep or a touch of warmth.

Maybe you have some old winter hats or you like to knit winter hats,gloves or coats. Wouldn't they be a wonderful gift for a homeless person or someone down on their luck? As colder weather approaches and we prepare our winter clothes maybe that extra scarf could go to a homeless person. Little things to us but possibly the difference between life and death to a homeless person.

If you have the time you can volunteer in a number of places starting with your own church or neighborhood center. Your time and your hands can be an invaluable resource.

These are just a few of the things you can do to make a change in the world and help your neighbors and others who need a little help while they try to get their lives back together.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

“No matter how you try to make the world a better place, the first step always starts with helping each other.” ― Magith Noohukhan

Habitat for Humanity


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Au fait. We do agree. It is the heart of the giver that makes the gift worthwhile even if the recipient is a fake.

      Writing, yes, the way we can pass on the goodness in ourselves and in the world. It doesn't take much to make the world a better place but we certainly can't do it if we don't try.

      Thank you also for the votes and shares.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      I wish more people had your perspective: "Of course it is difficult to tell for sure if the person is really homeless but that doesn't matter. Better to be duped than to pass by someone really needing your help."

      As I see it, if I help someone I receive a blessing no matter how my help is used or abused. If someone abuses the help I give (buys drugs or alcohol instead of food, for example), they will answer for their trespass, but I will still receive a blessing for trying to do the right thing rather than losing a blessing for being stingy or mean spirited.

      That said, I think all of us who write change the world. The pen can be very persuasive and very mighty. We all have readers from around the world and every time we write we have another opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, or many someones' lives -- as you say, the ripple affect. We all carry a huge responsibility if you think about it, and we will likely never know what a difference we have made, and are making. Voted up, BAUI, and pinning on Awesome HubPages as well as to my own board titled, "Helping People In Need."

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      It is good to hear their work is appreciated. We often think we're doing good but can never be sure. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment Aesta.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have met a few of the Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Cambodia and I really admire their dedication. People there appreciated much their work.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Graham. Forgive me for taking so long to reply but I've been laid up with a slipped disc and I'm just getting back to myself. I totally agree, we do need to make a difference!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Mary. A great hub. Touching many bases. I think we need to make a difference whatever we do. Helping children is essential, they are the future. Little things mean a lot to many people in many ways.

      Voted up.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Beth.

      Sometimes just a minute of thinking can give us so many ideas Carter. Thank you the lovely compliment and for sharing.

    • carter06 profile image


      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Love this hub Till I so do.. you've given us much to think about in creative ways..thank you! and just saying you sure make a difference around here!! Will def share this T & P..

      Have a great day:)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What a good hub.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Yes Martie, we should never take advantage of anyone but always do our best to help in whatever way we can. We should always be grateful for every day...we never know when it will be our last.

      The mosquito metaphor also lets us know that no matter how small we still make a difference.

      Oh Bill writes them all, doesn't he?

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Awesome hub, Mary! I like the concept of 'serving'. All humans, except the hermits we don't know, are serving each other daily - by simply buying a product, or make use of one or the other service provided by humans. Evil step in when humans take advantage of others in order to enrich themselves.

      I like the mosquito-metaphor, implying that even when we are no longer able to lift our feet and hands, we should not make irritating noises and use our sharp tongue to hurt others.... Be still and grateful for the opportunity we still have to appreciate the little we still have in the land of the living.

      Voted up, thought-provoking and encouraging :)

      Oh, I've read a nice quote the other day: Be the change you want to see in your world.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Jackie. Yes, it is up to us to change the world.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I so agree with you and if we become kind people then there will be opportunity! Great write!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Deb, sometimes human contact is more important than food!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Possessions and food are great things to give to someone. I have found that even a big makes a big difference. Human contact is important for everyone.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Loveofnight thank you. We all have it in us to help in some way. You are welcome and I wish you well too!

      thumbi7 you are so right. If we watch for the opportunities we will see them. Glad I made that ripple!

      LKMoreo1 I agree, no matter how small the effort or the act, it makes a difference.

    • LKMore01 profile image


      5 years ago

      Love the sentiment of this HUB. All of your ideas and suggestions should be taken to heart. We must remember that even the smallest act of kindness makes a difference. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      5 years ago from India

      Very impressive.. In fact we have a lot of opportunities for helping people around. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open to see and hear them.

      You have definitely created a ripple by writing this hub

      Thanks for sharing

    • loveofnight profile image


      5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      This hub is not just awesome but useful as well. You have truly given a great list of things to do as well as groups to join in order to help those in need. Thank you for putting this out there, be well.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Victoria, we are all guilty of letting life get in the way ;) Glad I could plant some seeds, now I just have to follow my own advice ;)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wonderful ideas in this hub. I get so busy, but I should do more. I'm sure I have some extra blankets and scarves I could donate to the local homeless center. Many votes on this one!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Writer Fox I am so glad you enjoyed this hub. I know we can change the world and help so many with even the slightest efforts.

      Truthfornow, so glad you enjoyed my hub and thoughts.

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      There are many things and ways you can make a difference. You have said it well here. You don't need to have a lot of money. Just giving your time is enough. Great read for the holiday season.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      5 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thanksgiving is the perfect time for this article. This is a wonderful reminder that there is so much that an individual can do to help others and to cause real changes in their lives. Keep writing this great articles so that I may read them! Voted up and shared!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Patty, that's wonderful. Stories like yours are what make volunteering not only the right thing to do, but so very rewarding! Thanks for sharing.

      Nell, what a wonderful analogy. "The stir felt around the world". Thanks for the votes and share my friend.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      This is great mary, we can all do something, however small to make a difference to the world. even helping just one person is a start. its the butterfly effect, and as we know the butterfly flaps its wings, causes a stir and its felt around the world, wonderful stuff, voted up and shared, nell

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      This is a top notch Hub that I've shared. We all can do something, as you say. Volunteering became part of my life over 30 years ago. The best reward for it was seeing how my helping a teenager overcome a label of retardation and bone and joint conditions result in his attending college and played football - saving his family what would be $60,000 in leg surgery.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Drbj I guess that's what we're aimingfor, a lovely place!

      Thansk Shyron, RAKs are the best.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I love RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) Mary, you are such a wonderful person. Thanking you for all that you do.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent, realistic suggestions, Mary, for making a difference. If everyone could 'pay it forward' as in that charming movie of the same name, what a lovely place this world could be.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you so much Pamela. Hope you got that good night's sleep. You've captured an important aspect of volunteering, doing what you like. Having CPR and First Aid is a great way to be prepared to help someone. You never know when you'll have to use it...I actually had to give my mother CPR in a store years ago. Thanks for the votes and share.

      Yes Frank, positivity is a word even if spell check doesn't like it! Hubs like these are inside me just waiting to come out ;) So glad you enjoyed!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      so much that a word? well it really comes out here in this wonderful hub.. The ideas, the making a difference in a child's life is probably tops..thank you for hubs like these :)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Dapples 

      5 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I enjoyed reading your ideas written in such a positive way. When we are rested -- which I'm not tonight -- it makes all the difference. Mornings can be filled with creative and helpful efforts which can benefit people along our path -- if we've had a good night's sleep. And as you have mentioned, our children and grandchildren need our efforts and service. And -- often -- so do others. Great hub, tillsontitan.

      Thanks for sharing the practical idea about the meal cards. A meal card takes the worry away just as you have explained.

      Volunteering in something which personally interests us is important to our own well-being and to our stick-to-it-iv-ness. Something I've decided is important to me in trying to be available to serve -- is being prepared when out and about in society and also with my family members -- in the event of a physical emergency. I've recently taken the CPR and First Aid course through the Red Cross in case I might be needed to help someone unexpectedly one day.

      Voting up, up, up and sharing.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I know Effer, our heart is in the right place but there are times we just can't do what we want. However, I know you're like me and make up for it when you can. Right now I'm filling a bag full of food for the Boy Scout Food Drive.

      Thanks Eddy. Always so good to see you here.

      Marlene, you are so right, we all have something to offer.

      Pamela glad you loved my hub and we are all in agreement.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This message is so true. We can each do something each day, whether we help one person or a group. There are so many ways we can serve. I love your hub!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      There are so many ways that a person can make a difference. No matter who we are, we all have something to offer another person and just by offering, we can make a difference in someone else's life. It was a joy reading this article and thinking of ways that I could help make a difference in the life of someone today.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub an thank you for sharing Mary. Voted up of course and wishing you a great day.


    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      WHO is "Mary?" LOL.....(although I do see that "Tilly" has seriously caught on!) Hmmmm....where'd that nickname come from?

      You had to know I would LOVE this hub....and of course, I do. The quotes are absolutely perfectly chosen. Had to mark your poll with, "I try..."..because in all honesty, I find even with the best and most sincere intentions, things don't always work out the way we'd like.

      I can tell you without hesitation....I BELIEVE in this concept.....Voted way UP and ALL but funny.......shared.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Peg, anything we can do we should. A small item, a small thought, it all helps.

      You are most welcome Kathryn. Thank you for stopping by and for your votes.

      Genna, that quote struck me as well. No better analogy for those of us who think it has to be big. You are welcome.

      Faith, we are others to some ;) How sad that any child goes hungry. Thank you my friend and blessings to you.

      Tobusiness I am glad you liked my hub and ideas. Imagine if everyone tried one small thing?

      Martin I have no doubt you were amazing and are still. Thank you and God bless.

      CraftytotheCore living in New York, I am not surprised at the homeless. I live in an area where very few are on the streets but we still know they are there. Most of my donations go to a homeless shelter where I know they will be distributed.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      Great advice. Helping each other is where it starts for sure. Recently, this area has started to see more and more homeless. People from New York were surprised at how many homeless people we have. The saddest thing I have personally witnessed is a man on the street corner with his old dog.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I was big in my time (before my handicap) 2010-Toys for Tots -over $42,000. 1999-honored by SF public schools for 3 major fundings. 2006-made a 33rd degree mason for my service to the community, And the honors go on and on.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      If we want to make a difference and build a better world, right here would be a good place to start. This is a wonderful hub with good practical ideas, it doesn't take much, just a bit of thought and a generous heart.

      To the future indeed.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Mary,

      I truly believe even the smallest act of kindness makes a huge difference in this world and in the life of another person. There is no reason why each one of us cannot do something, anything ... just do it! You are right, why else are we still here ... to love others!

      There are so many hurting out in this brutal world, especially children, when there should never be a hungry child in my mind!

      Thank you for he great ideas here. Your beautiful heart of love shines though here.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless you and yours,

      Faith Reaper

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond...” ― Jessy and Bryan Matteo

      If I could underscore this wonderful quotation, I would. Can we imagine what the world would be like if each day, we all did something to help another person – no matter how small that act of caring was in the broader scope of things? I recently watched a film titled, “Pay it Forward,” which reminded me of this wonderful and inspirational hub. Thank you, Mary! :-)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      5 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      This is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing these ideas for making a difference with us. That reminds me, I need to work on my own soon!

      Voted up and sharing :)

      Have a great night.

      ~ Kathryn

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Right on, Mary. These are fantastic ways in which we can help others. Just a small discarded item like a hat or blanket can mean the difference between life and death to many of those who have nothing. You have made quite a few important points here.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Certainly Denise, we can make a difference. As you've said there are many small ways. It doesn't always have to be on a grand scale. Smiles to you.

      Thank you Rasta1.

      So right Bill. I am so lucky to have such insightful friends here on HP! Thanks for the votes. Enjoy the rest of your week too.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      A great message and great suggestions Mary. There are so many little things we can do every day to make a difference in someone else's life. Voted up, sharing, etc. Have a great week :)

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      5 years ago from Jamaica

      So thoughtful of you. You certainly made a difference writing this hub.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We can start small, in our own neighborhood or family, and branch out to our church and community. Everywhere we go, there are lonely people who could use a friend, or someone worse off than we are. It is great therapy for loneliness and feeling down to help others. It is never too late, and any task is not too small. Even just giving a smile can brighten someone's day.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      How right you are Sheila! We don't realize how the little things make a difference. When I was in elementary school a new girl in school was German (There were no speech classes in those days). I was just nice to her, I thought nothing out of the ordinary. Anyway, years later she thanked me for the kindness...just goes to show.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great hub! Sometimes I sit I haven't done enough to make a difference because I can't do anything big or powerful. Then someone will tell me how much it meant to them that I held a door for them or listened to them when they needed to talk. The little things can also make a huge difference in someone's life.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you DDE, glad you found my hub useful. Anything we do, no matter how small can help another.

      Thanks Bill. I knew you'd be here early on. I did put a link on the FB page to this hub. Blessings to all who want to make this world a better place!

      Thank you so much Michael. I agree with you, it all starts with the smallest step.

      Maria the world is full of excuses, I know too well. Glad you enjoyed this hub. Your thoughts and prayers have been a big help.

      Bob, you are so right! I would love to volunteer at an animal shelter but my husband forbid it because he knows I'd bring them all home!

    • diogenes profile image


      5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Tilly...Mary: Just by caring about the weaker forms on this planet, be they human or wild creatures, can make a difference. A smile and a joke that brings a laugh back and gives cheer; trying to really listen to others and help where you can. You don't have to be Bill Gates to make the world a warmer place, despite all the woes.

      Lovely article xo

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Evergreen, ever beautiful and all ideas are most doable for us all to make a difference with our unique strengths, talents and interests.

      Thank you, Mary, you have given us no excuse not to do something for someone.

      Voted UP and UABI. Thinking of you...Love, Maria

    • cleaner3 profile image


      5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      Mary... you are a beautiful heart ..tinged with the golden glow put there by the Lord..

      All goodness starts with the smallest step the first gesture or compassion from the soul for the neediest..

      Thank you ... shared and voted up !

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo, Mary! You made a difference with this article. Beautiful sentiment and wonderful suggestions. Thank you on behalf of the movement; thank you on behalf of humanity. Link to the Facebook page please; this belongs there.

      blessings my friend


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Making a Difference in the World: Can You Do It? No one is useless in this world great thought and so true making the difference in this world with anything small is really a wonderful from all who try so well. Especially now toward the festive season it would mean so much more to those in need. Helping others all year round is also a helpful. A useful hub with valuable words


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