Encourage Your Kids to Celebrate “Make a Difference Day” Today, Tomorrow, and the Whole Year Through!
Each year, on October 24th, millions of people gather to celebrate “Make a Difference Day” across the nation. The common mission of the volunteers of this day is to assist in improving the lives of those in their communities and other areas. Many contribute to charity, while others help individuals and organizations in their communities. While October 24th is considered to be the absolute largest national-based day associated with community service, as parents, we should encourage our children to celebrate “Make a Difference Day” today, tomorrow, and the whole year through! In this guide, you will be provided with information on how kids may make a positive impact on their communities and the world, as a whole.
Create Blessing Bags for the Homeless
Homelessness in the United States is quickly growing into a very challenging issue. According to statistics, well over 3.5 million people suffer from homelessness each and every single year. 35% of all the people that are homeless are families that have children. 23% of the homeless are those that are military veterans. 25% of the homeless are kids that are under the age of 18. 30% of the homeless are those that have become homeless as a result of being a victim of domestic violence. 25% of all the homeless have mental illnesses. Nearly all of the homeless suffer from some type of illness that directly relates to their lack of shelter, lack of clean water, and lack of food. If you want your children to make a difference in the world, you should start by encouraging them to make blessing bags for the homeless.
Blessing bags are simple to create. The products placed in such a bag are designed to address immediate needs. Basic supplies that will aid in providing the homeless person with hydration, nutrition, warmth, and toiletries are typically provided in the blessing bags. In most instances, a blessing bag may be created by using a large zipper-sealed see-through Ziploc bag; however, you may also place the items in other types of containers. Once the blessing bags are made, you should either place them in your vehicle, or, take a few with you when you go on an outing. Once a homeless person is spotted, you and/or your child may provide the blessing bag to the homeless. The following outlines a list of supplies that may be included in a blessing bag:
- Bottle of Water
- Bag of Quarters for Laundry and/or Water
- Hand Warmers
- Hand Sanitizer
- Baby Wipes
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment
- Wash Clothes
- Mouth Wash
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Comb and/or Brush
- Energy Bars
Help the Elderly and Disabled
The next method that may be used to celebrate “Make a Difference Day” today, tomorrow, and all throughout the year is to encourage children to help the elderly and disabled in their neighborhood and/or community. Many older people and people with physical and mental disabilities live alone in the United States. While many may have children, relatives, and friends that are free to help them, there are millions that are alone. These individuals often need help in shopping, collecting mail, cleaning their homes, lawn care, and taking care of their personal needs. While children are not able to help in many of the tasks, there are several that they may be suited for that will make the older person’s or disabled person’s life much better. Examples include doing laundry, washing dishes, feeding and bathing pets, mowing the grass, and helping in preparing weekly meals. By helping an elderly or disabled person, your child has the opportunity to truly change their life.
Turn Trash into Treasures
We all have old junk in our homes. These items may include clothing that has been outgrown or is no longer wanted, old bedding, old towels, old toys, old kitchen utensils, and wide arrays of other items. Instead of throwing these items away, you could encourage your child to turn your trash into treasures. Simply clean up the old, unwanted items and pass them out to those that are in need. If you are not familiar with any families in need, you may simply box up the old items and donate them to a charity or to Goodwill. In many instances, you may donate the items to local churches. Often, they keep the items in storage until they discover people who could benefit from the items. Teaching a child to turn trash into treasure is a wonderful and highly positive way to change the lives of others!
Help a Local Food Pantry
The next way that you could encourage your child to celebrate “Make a Difference Day” today, tomorrow, and throughout the entire year is to help a local food pantry. These pantries often provide a lot of food to families in your community that do not have the means to purchase their own food or may only purchase small amounts of food. A few times a year or once a month, you and your child should encourage your neighbors, friends, relatives, and businesses in your community to donate food items, such as can goods, for your local food pantry. While food pantries are usually stocked quite well, during the fall and winter months, many experience shortages because of the holidays. There are many creative ways to obtain can goods and other types of food. This activity will benefit many needy people. You and your child will feel so good about yourselves after helping your local food pantry.
Start an “Adopt a Family” Program in Your Community
Regardless of where you live in the nation, there is a needy family nearby. You may not know these families, but, if you start an “Adopt a Family” program in your community, you and your children will get to help these families. In order to start this process, you will need to have a central location where families may go to submit their application. It is important to ensure certain criteria are met for approval so that you know that you are aiding the families that have the highest level of need. Once you identify the families, the goal is to aid with food and other necessities. During the holidays, you may even help the family by purchasing gifts for them. There are many ways to help families in need. All it takes is a little creativity and a little promotional effort, and you will be well on your way to starting and developing a successful “Adopt a Family” program in your community. You will be absolutely thrilled at the vast number of people that you will be able to aid in this particular program.
Adopt a Nursing Home Resident
Today, many elderly and disabled patients are sitting in nursing homes – absolutely alone. Many have family that simply cannot or will not visit. Others have absolutely no family left. Many have even lost all of their friends. Day in and day out, these people – who were once major contributors to society, lived, served our nation, and did many other wonderful things for our world – sit, alone and sad in nursing homes across the nation. These patients often have nothing to look forward to. If you would like your child to make a difference in the world, or, at least, in the world of one person, you should encourage them to adopt a nursing home resident. Each week, you should set aside time to visit the resident and listen to their stories. You should take along games, books, and other activities that may done together. Not only will this enrich the life of a nursing home patient, it will enrich and educate you and your child, too!
While “Make a Difference Day” comes around only once each year on October 24th, it is not a day that should be celebrated only one day a year. Instead, it should be celebrated today, tomorrow, and every single day throughout the year. You should encourage your child to provide charity to others in order to improve their lives. There are many exciting ways that they may make a difference, in their own way. In this guide, you have been introduced to several of these strategies. Examples include creating blessing bags for the homeless, helping the elderly and disabled, turning trash into treasures for others, helping a local food pantry, adopting a family in your community, and adopting a nursing home resident. Charity is not only positive, but, as citizens of the United States, it is our duty and responsibility to provide charity to others. Our country was founded on the belief that all should be entitled to the same freedoms and liberties as others. By encouraging your child to participate in “Make a Difference Day” every single day of the year, you are not only helping them to help others, but, you are also helping them to fulfill their duties and responsibilities as citizens.