Make A Difference Day – October 24
There are so many “national days of…..” that it is hard to keep track, if that is something you like to do. There are great ones like “Speak Like a Pirate Day” and I can get behind “National Donut Day”. One day I was looking around at some of the fun national and international days and I saw one that stuck out. “MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY”. Not knowing anything about it, I decided to check it out.
WHAT IS MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY?
Make A Difference Day is an unofficial holiday or observance that emphasizes community service and volunteerism. It has been celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October since 1992 when it was suggested by the USA Weekend (a national newspaper) that people should take the day and do something good for their communities and those in need. 1992 was a leap year, so why not take the extra day to do something good? The idea caught on and has been celebrated since then.
ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
I have been having conversations with my girls about how easy it is to make a difference in someone’s life. Yes, it is a little different in theory to Make a Difference Day, but the truth is there. A smile, a nice comment, doing something for someone – those are easy ways to make a difference. I challenge them sometimes to look around and see if there is someone who might need a kind word or a smile, even a thank you. How hard is it to say thank you? Not hard at all!
We were at Walmart one day and one of the workers walked by us. Her shoulders were stooped and she looked weary. Kira turned to her and said “You’re beautiful” and we saw immediately this lady stand up straight and smile. She said “thank you” to Kira and walked off with more of a spring in her step. Kira turned to me amazed and said “Did you see that Mum? That made her so happy.” And that, my dears, is just how easy it is!
KIDS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
I believe that it is never too early for kids to make a difference, or learn how to. Here are some simple ways they can do this, to be kind or do a good deed:
- Say Thank you
- Help someone without being asked
- Help clean up
- Donate some of your toys
- Make someone laugh
- Say something nice to someone
- Do a chore for your brother or sister
- Help your mom cook dinner
- Write a thank you note to your teacher
- Be a friend (sit with someone at school who is sitting alone)
- Pick up trash or litter
- Wave and smile at your neighbors
- Help your neighbor with their garbage cans
- Buy a gift for a friend, just because
- Bring lunch for a friend
- Give some of your allowance to charity
As a family you could sit down and create a list of things you could and then challenge each other to random acts of kindness.
TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Volunteering is great. Check out my vlog on volunteering to find out ways you can do it as a family. Volunteering is a focus of Make a Difference Day. Being in the community and doing something that is needed shows children how to give back, to think outside of themselves. Each little thing done adds up and becomes something great.
“In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”Mother Teresa
GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
I also think that one way we can make a difference is to change our thinking. In light of everything that has been going on in 2020, I think that one of the things we can do is teach our children about history, about racism and discrimination, about loving each other well. Teaching our children to be anti-racist, to be anti-discriminatory is to give them a powerful voice in making a difference.
“Anybody can make a difference and be a voice for the voiceless.”Zach Hunter
MAKE AN IMPACT
So, can you make a difference this October 24? Find something you can do as a family. Maybe it is cleaning up a park, or serving at a food pantry. Remember that Make A Difference Day is a great way to give something back to the communities they live and/or work in. It’s not only a great way to give back, but is also an opportunity for all of us to improve our communities.
But let’s not just leave it to one day a year – let’s make it a daily thing to make a difference. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference.”
Volunteering on your heart? Here is a vlog post that looks at the Benefits of Volunteering as a Family.