National Make a Difference Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in October. This year, the day falls on October 24, 2020. To make this a tradition in our household, I decided to make a list of local organizations and ways to make a difference as a family.
First, I decided to search for some of the various organizations in my community for volunteer options that my children could be engaged to help those in need.
The first organization that came to mind was Kids in Crisis, located in Cos Cob. I discovered that they have an event called the Autumn Scavenger Hunt, a week-long virtual event starting October 23rd. Registration is as an individual or as a team, and there are various missions to complete by taking and submitting photos. The categories include “Family Fun,” “Do Good,” and “Community Awareness & Support.”
Other organizations where we can donate and help those in need include Neighbor to Neighbor and Mothers for Others. Neighbor to Neighbor is a local organization that accepts food and clothing donations. Currently, they are only taking monetary and food donations. Neighbor to Neighbor has food drives on Tuesdays across the street from St. Catherine of Siena Parish on Riverside Avenue in Riverside, Connecticut. Their offices are temporarily located at the Arch Street Teen Center in Greenwich. Mothers for Others is another great local organization that provides diapers and baby equipment to families in need. Right now, they are only accepting monetary donations to provide diapers to those families in need.
As members of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, our troop has continuously come up with great ways to serve the community, volunteer, and teach leadership.
A major part of this is through activities that teach how to make a difference in others’ lives. Making cards and small notes of appreciation is one activity that was particularly memorable. These small gestures can have a big impact on others. Sending notes and cards to veterans, nursing homes, and hospital workers, for example, are great ways to teach compassion to younger kids.
It is also important to make a difference in the lives of those in your family.
We started a compliment jar where everyone writes something positive about one other family member, and we read them at the end of the week. Each week, we pick a new family member, and we have extended it to some family members that live far away, and when we have our weekly call, we read the compliment. I think this is a great way to show how even a small compliment can greatly impact someone else. This extends into November, where we tie in messages about what we are thankful for.
Finally, another great way to celebrate Make a Difference Day is through environmental awareness.
I read this article with my daughters about some of the amazing ways kids are making huge strides in helping the environment. We are very inspired by these stories: “8 Youths Making a Real Difference in the Fight for Our Planet.”
At home, we are learning how to garden organically with compost, recycling and reusing when possible from home, using reusable containers, and small things like saving water and turning off lights when not in use. It’s all about trying to establish healthier habits early on. Planting a tree is also a great way to honor and celebrate Make A Difference Day.