Making a Difference in the World: Can You Do It?
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 "BookCrossings.com" 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?
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 volunteerguide.org 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.
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