Every October, on Make a Difference Day, thousands of neighbors help each other in meaningful ways.
For almost 20 years Make A Difference Day has catalyzed and inspired millions of people to create self-directed change in their own communities and in their own lives. Make A Difference day has become the largest national day of service — with over three million people serving in one day.
Each year 10 outstanding Make A Difference Day volunteers from this initiative are honored for their contributions with a monetary award generously provided by Newman’s Own.
As Make A Difference Day 2010 approaches on October 23, 2010, we’d like to recognize some of the Make A Difference Day honorees from years past.
Seventeen year old Lucas Metropulos was a low-income kid in coastal Florida who had never caught a fish. Regardless, Lucas began teaching a weekly fishing class after school for eight to eleven year old kids. He taught knot-tying, casting, netting, cleaning, and sustainable fishing. The classes normally culminate with a trip to a fishing pier.
For Make a Difference Day last year, Lucas managed to secure a 70-foot charter fishing boat and crew, round up 10 chaperones, and collect donations for a post-trip supper. Twenty children, ages 8 to 11, caught kingfish, triggerfish (and two large ones that got away!)
Olga El Sa-hame-y of New York read about Make a Difference Day in USA Weekend magazine and decided then and there to act. She and her husband Muh-stafa El Sa-hame-y stayed up until 2 am cooking 50 servings of chicken with rice and packaged them with fruit, beverages, and dessert. They drove the meals into Manhattan and met their son Alex and four of his friends. For the next few hours, the seven of them distributed their food to the homeless, seeking them out in doorways, under trees and in subways.
Make A Difference Day, like all transformational service efforts, creates virtual circles of helping.
Often the helpers become the helped.
For instance, Anna Tris-vane, 79, of Providence has fostered nearly 40 children, and her 60-year-old home showed the wear and tear of a lifetime of hard use. The nonprofit “Rebuilding Together Providence” and Lowe’s partnered to rejuvenate her home on Make A Difference Day. A team, including plumbers, painters, and electricians, caulked, added kitchen cabinets, renovated the bathrooms, installed new locks, and much more for the Tris-vane home.
These examples illustrate what ordinary people can do to create change in the daily lives of others and, in the process, weave the fabric of community that unites us all.
You can be part of it!
This article originally appeared on the HandsOnBlog and is republished here with permission.
Logo used with permission from the HandsOnBlog