Ways to Honor Make a Difference Day

Make a Difference Day is celebrated on October 26 of this year, and has been recognized as the fourth Saturday in October since 1992. It was started as an encouragement from USA Weekend newspaper, which suggested that readers use the extra day from the leap year that year to do something positive for their communities and those in need.

Make a Difference Day has since focused on community service and volunteerism to encourage people to “make a difference” in their own neighborhoods. Each year in honor of Make a Difference Day, millions of people around the country participate in volunteer efforts or community betterment projects, donate to charitable organizations or help people in need. Apex Leadership Co. shares a few suggestions for how students and their families can make a difference in their communities this October 26.

Form a Clean-up Crew — Get some neighborhood kids together to pick up trash along the roads, in the local park or at a neighborhood community center.

Start a School Garden — This will need some approval from the principal, but starting a garden at school is a great way to get students involved in taking care of something and watching it grow! Another possibility is creating a composting area in the lunch room or cafeteria. Perhaps a garden/composting club can be formed after school on a semi-regular basis during which students can tend to the garden and manage the compost.

Visit a Senior Living Community — Oftentimes residents that reside in senior living communities don’t have regular visitors. A visit to a center to bring handwritten cards or flowers to residents or simply to sit and spend some time with elders of the community can mean a world of difference to them. It’s important to check with the community first to find out their rules and time frames for visitors.

Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter or Donate Much-Needed Items — Each organization is different, so it’s a good idea to find out the rules for volunteering time here as well and in terms of donating items. For example, certain food items may not be accepted, but it’s likely that donations in the way of blankets, socks, hygiene products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and deodorant), diapers and wipes are much needed and much appreciate.

Make a Run for It — Running for a cause is a great way to raise funds for an organization in need. Do some research to see if there is an existing run that students and families can participate in and if not, consider starting one with funds going towards an important charity that has significance to the group.

Help Someone Feel Appreciated — Making a difference in someone’s day doesn’t necessitate a grandiose, time-consuming or even expensive gesture. Holding the door open for a stranger, giving a friend a compliment, or giving Mom and Dad a big hug and thanking them for all they do are all completely free acts of kindness that can go a long way in helping someone feel special on Make a Difference Day.

Regardless of the act, volunteerism, or effort put forth on Make a Difference Day, it’s a wonderful way to spend some time focusing on others in the neighborhood and community. Each act may seem small but can make a ripple towards an endless kindness movement! The Apex Leadership Co. encourages students and families to get involved in a way that is important to them this October 26 and make a difference in some way!