National Make a Difference Day

By Laurie Elmore, Dietetic Intern

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really thought of myself as someone that can change a life. I mean doesn’t that require some kind of miraculous task; something that would require saving someone’s life or for that matter being a super hero? Throughout my life I have done several things to help someone or a group of people. I’ve volunteered at food banks, helped rake leaves, and made dinner for a sick family friend. While it does not seem like much, I have made a difference in someone’s life. When was the last time you smiled at the elderly man walking around the mall? You never know when you can make a difference in someone else’s day!

National Make a Difference day is celebrated every fourth Saturday in October. I’m sure if you are like me you think what could I really do? I heard Matt Lauer talk about it, but how can I be involved. Well it can be as simple as helping your neighbor in the yard, smiling at that man walking around the mall, or volunteering at a local organization. This special day was created by USA WEEKEND Magazine and no matter what level you participate; you CAN change someone’s live.

Need some help getting your brain thinking? Here are some ideas:

• Stock a food pantry

• Organize a neighborhood “Trash Clean-Up”

• Paint classrooms, playrooms, kitchens

• Fix, sand, and paint picnic tables and benches

• Build and decorate recycling containers

• Construct bird feeders or houses

• Build bee boxes

• Remove weeds from cracks in sidewalks and flowerbeds

• Build a compost

• Build a playground

• Clean-up/restore a playground

• Clean up the river

• Pull weeds from a plot in a natural area