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30 Ways to make a difference

Updated on September 12, 2014

Thirty Ways to Make a Difference in this World

People think that you have to do something extremely great in order to make a difference. The truth is...You Don't!

You do not have to go out and be a Mother Teresa although you can practice some of the traits that she possessed such as love and humility.

Start with yourself and then move outwards towards your family, friend, neighbors, community, country and world.

When you get up in the morning ask yourself, what can I do today that will make a difference?

You can make a difference on an individual, regional, national and global level. You can make a difference at home, in your neighborhood, in your community and at work.

If you're looking for ways to make a difference, then this site is for you.

Browse through the list and pick a few items that you would enjoy doing. You can also choose to do the entire list at your own pace over a certain period of time. The key is to practice making a difference since the more you practice these ideas the more they become entrenched and become habit forming and eventually giving and doing will become second nature to you if it isn't already.

Why should we each strive to make a difference in this world?

If everyone thought "someone else will take care of it", nothing would ever be done. We have a responsibility to help one another out. At times life can get difficult and it is reassuring to know that there are others watching out for us and are willing to lend a helping hand when in need.

When you make a difference, not only are you helping others but in reality you are really helping yourself. What you do for others, essentially you do for yourself. Giving and helping others makes you feel good. Your rewards are the feelings that you get on the inside. It gives you a purpose and it has a wonderful effect on your physical and emotional body.

In order to receive, you must give. If you truly would like to be prosperous then make a difference. I've found that usually what you give comes back to you many times over.

1: Send a shoe box to a needy child

Each year millions of children receive gift boxes though Operation Christmas Child. Individuals make up their own boxes by purchasing items such as toys, school supplies, toiletries and other items. These boxes are sent around Christmas time to needy children around the world. Touch a child’s heart, send them a shoe box. For more information, visit the Samaritans Purse web site.

2: Sponsor a child in a third world country

What if you had the ability to drastically change the life of a needy child? Would you do it? Today there are many organizations such as Worldvision that help impoverished children around the world for a small monthly fee. Many of these organizations encourage you to communicate with your sponsored child through letters and even visits.

4: Help a friend find a job

Looking for a job can very hard and stressful at times. Use your network of contacts, keep your eyes open for any opportunities and take the initiative on your friends behalf.

5: Plant a tree

There are many reasons for planting a tree. Beauty is one. Not only do trees create oxygen by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they also help prevent soil loss, recycle water, create shade and act as a means of protection from the wind.

7: Say a prayer

There are times when the only thing you can do is to simply say a prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool and as many can attest, it does work.

8: Smile


9: Show your appreciation

What better way to show your appreciation by writing a simple thank you note. It conveys to the recipient just how much you care and it let's them know how much of an impact that they have had on you. It doesn't need to be for a specific reason, it can be completely out of the blue. Thank you for caring, thank you for all the things you do, thank you for being part of my life.

10: Get involved in a pet therapy program

What is pet therapy? You bring your pet to visit patients in hospitals and old age homes. If you have a loving pet, then you might want to get involved in a program. There are enumerable beneficial and therapeutic reasons for for all those involved. It helps motivate patients suffering from depression and alleviates loneliness though interaction. It helps with the healing process. It helps people return to a normal way of living. Most importantly, it provides unconditional love and brings joy.

11: Lend a listening ear

Most people who share their problems and concerns with you are not necessarily looking for your advice. You do not need to give advice; all you need to do is to lend a listening and sympathetic ear.

12: Provide medicine to those who cannot afford it

There are many who are ill but who just cannot afford the medicine or have access to the care that will cure them. For instance, did you know that millions still suffer today from turboculoses and leprosy. It's ironic because these diseases can be easily cured, yet many continue to suffer when they shouldn't have to. You can make a difference by making a donation to an organization that provides treatment to those affected by these diseases.

13: Perform a random act of kindness

Cut your neighbors hedge, wash their car, rake their leaves or shovel their steps. These are only a few suggestions. Use your imagination and perform a random act of kindness today.

Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness

In her foreword Daphne Rose Kingma notes, "Imagine what would happen if there were an outbreak of kindness in the world"'d bring "delight and goodness to yourself and others."

The book is sprinkled with the following example of quotes and thought provoking suggestions.

"As you go about your day, why not pick up the trash you find on your sidewalk?"

"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community,and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live." ~George Bernard Shaw


14: Get a job or choose a career where you can make a difference

The reality is that most people spend the majority of their time at work. That really doesn't leave any time to pursue things where we can make a difference. If you are devoted to making a difference, there are many careers which will allow you to do so. Do some research? Look for jobs where you can add value to the lives of others.

15: Include others

Include others in your life and in your dreams. Do not be confined to your inner circle, look to expand it. There are so many who are left out and alone. Look around, reach out and include others.

16: Practice forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the most important lessons that a person will learn in life. Forgiveness liberates you and set you free. Forgive others but most importantly yourself, after all we are our toughest critic. Let your emotions out. Liberate yourself. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

17: Hug someone

Hugging is a way of saying you care. It has wonderful effects for both the hugger and the person being hugged. Not only does it bring us closer together, it has a positive impact on our physiology. It doesn't take much to change another person's mood, sometimes all it takes is just a hug.

18: Donate a percentage of your business profits to charity

Many corporations these days are just interested in making a profit. But those who are truly successful give back to the community by supporting local or national charities.

19: Conserve energy and water. Don't waste!

We often take it for granted that there is an abundance of water and energy, therefore we don't pay too much attention to wasting it. But as the population grows, there will be greater demands on our resources and we must learn how to more efficiently utilize them. So what are some actions that we can take today in order to conserve more energy and water? Don't leave the water running. Turn off electric appliance such as TV and lights when you're not in the room. Get a more efficient toilet. Get more energy saving lights.

20: Think loving, positive and kind thoughts

Thoughts are energy that we emit into the Universe. Our thoughts lead to actions which in turn create our reality. When you think loving, positive and kind thoughts, you take loving, positive and kind actions.

21: Donate a percentage of your salary every month to your favorite charity

This is called tithing. Do what you can 1% to 10%. Remember, what we give comes back to us many times over.

22: Give away your unused clothing

A lot of us have clothing in our closet which we have never worn for various reasons. As a general rule, if you have not worn it for 2 years then give it away. Donate it to a local homeless shelter or your local church/synagogue/temple/mosque. It's a good cause and it will free up space in your closet.

23: Help a senior with their weekly chores and home repairs

As we grow older, the tasks that we once did with ease become extremely difficult if not impossible. There are many ways that you can help a senior. Help them with their groceries, wash their windows, trim their trees and shrubs, plant flowers for them.

24: Welcome immigrants

Most of us are immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds. Leaving your home behind and moving to another country is very difficult. Immigrants must overcome many obstacles such as language and cultural barriers and many have no family support. But there is something you can do, you can offer them your support.

25: Create wealth for yourself

How does creating wealth for yourself make a difference? It gives you the means and allows you the time to help others.

26: Protect the environment

Get rid of pesticides from your garden. Keep the cuttings on your lawn after mowing your grass. Safely dispose of oils, paints, batteries and pesticides. This will keep toxic waste out of the landfills. Use an organic fertilizer. These are just a few ways to protect our environment.

27: Get involved in politics

Run for office. Volunteer your services for election. Write to your local representative about issues in your area that need resolution.

28: Bring some flowers to someone

How can you brighten someone's day? Simple. Just bring them flowers.

29: Share your knowledge with others

Within each of us lies a vast pool of knowledge. We are all good at something or another. Share it with others.

30: Teach by example

You can teach by example by practicing what you preach and by being a role model for others.

Quotes on Making A Difference

"I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference."

~Jimmy Carter

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."

~Marian Wright Edelman

"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."


"The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. " ~Leo Rosten

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. " ~Edward Everett Hale

"One person can make a difference and every person should try."


Books on How to Make a Difference on Amazon

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