Saturday, October 24 marks National Make a Difference Day, a “holiday” initiated by USA Weekend in 1992 and celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in October. For more than 20 years, National Make a Difference Day has been sponsored by the magazine and the non-profit Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. In honor of this day, Apex Leadership Co. offers suggestions for how students, youth, and parents can make a difference this October 24 — and every day.
Making a difference is a wide net. It can be as simple as saying hello and smiling to a neighbor or new student or it can involve the consistent dedication of time, resources or funds to support the community or a specific organization in need. When it comes to helping children understand how to make a difference, it’s important to focus on the fact that even one small act can indeed spark change. For some, “making a difference” may seem like a daunting task. Parents can offer a range of ideas, geared for specific age groups, that entice “making a difference” fun and easy.
For example, parents can encourage young children to draw pictures or write letters to military personnel, first responders, and hospital staff to show their gratitude for the community efforts of these essential workers. This can be even more personalized by encouraging little ones to draw a picture or write a note to a grandparent, a neighbor, or a friend. Making someone’s day by simply doing something kind is a great way to make a difference.
Kindness is something no one should ever outgrow! That said, showing a kind gesture just because shouldn’t be limited to the little ones. People of all ages appreciate kindness whether that means holding the door open, paying for the next person in line at the drive-thru, offering to help a relative, neighbor, or friend with a household task or errand, or simply giving someone a sincere compliment. Kindness comes in endless forms, and being kind to others is a sure-fire way to make a difference in the world — and it can be contagious! One kind act can inspire another… and another!
When it comes to helping children understand how to make a difference, it’s important to focus on the fact that even one small act can indeed spark change. Parents can encourage young children to draw pictures or write letters to military personnel, first responders and hospital staff to show their gratitude for the community efforts of these essential workers. Volunteering in the community is a wonderful way to make a difference and this is something parents can do to lead by example.
Volunteering in the community is a wonderful way to make a difference and this is something parents can do to lead by example. For those that want to volunteer but don’t know where to begin, start with interest. Animal lovers might be able to foster pets for a shelter in need or donate time to helping feed and clean the animals, whereas kids that love to read may be able to help out at a local library. Organizing the collection of essential items such as canned goods and water bottles, diapers and wipes, or hygiene products to donate to organizations in need is another great way to make a difference in one’s community.
This Make a Difference Day, Apex Leadership Co. encourages parents, guardians, and students alike to perform an act of kindness or volunteer their time or resources to make a difference in someone’s life. There is truly no act too small — and from even a small act, great things can be achieved!