What have you done to make a difference today? Quite honestly, I feel like getting out of bed and successfully getting my kids off to school minus any disasters is quite an accomplishment! Aside from our everyday tasks, though, what will you do to make a difference today? Smile at a stranger? Let someone go ahead of you when it clearly was your turn? Whatever it is, find one thing to do today that makes YOUR HEART SING!
I like to draw inspiration from others. I was recently online when I came across an article about extraordinary kids doing extraordinary things. I thought I would share a few of them with you to get your inspirational juices flowing too!
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Hugs for Haiti
Age 13, Grand Rapids, MI
Two days after the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Blare saw a little boy crying in a pile of rubble on a newscast. The story brought him to tears. The next day, still thinking about what he’d seen, Blare remembered the teddy bear that always comforted him. “Then I thought, ‘We could start a drive for Haiti,’” says Blare. At school, his teachers let him announce his plan over the PA system and ask other kids to donate bears. Soon a local TV and radio station got wind, and, via Facebook, other schools joined in. The result? Blare’s Bears for Haiti gave 25,000 teddy bears to the island nation and about 22,000 more to nonprofits. This year Blare’s group will collect toys and school supplies, too. Blare’s advice to other kids is simple. “It doesn’t really matter how small or old you are,” he says. “If you’re young and think you can’t make a big difference in the world, well, you actually can.”
Spreading World Peace, One Blanket at a Time
Age 13, Simi Valley, CA
In 2008 Charlie Coons’s big brother volunteered at an orphanage in Jordan, and he returned with stories about dirt floors, children who had no shoes, and cold, cold nights. Charlie, 11 at the time, was so affected by this, she immediately decided to send them fleece blankets, creating one from a kit and inviting friends to make some, too. Soon the sixth-graders and other volunteers in her town had crafted 50 blankets to ship. The orphanage sent back a photo of a child with one of the gifts. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I made that blanket and now it’s helping someone,’?” Charlie says.
Still, she was pumped to do more. Her dad, Ron, a Rotary Club member, lined up speaking engagements in their area for Charlie so she could raise money for her new group, which she called HELP (Hope Encouragement Love Peace). Her goal: to send blankets to orphanages around the world. Ambitious, yes, but just a few years later, HELP has sent some 700 blankets to nine nations with the help of several international children’s groups. Her next goal: to establish HELP chapters in all 50 states (Oklahoma, North Carolina, and California are already members). Want to get your state on board? All you have to do is drop Charlie a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protecting Canine Cops
Age 8, Chesapeake, VA
Kayleigh loved watching the police dogs train when she visited her police officer dad at work. So when the then 6-year-old saw photos of the dogs and noticed that only some wore bulletproof vests—at $700 apiece, many departments can’t afford them—she decided to raise the money herself by selling some of her toys. A local businessman learned about her plan and donated enough money for her to buy her first vest, in 2009. Since then, Kayleigh’s organization, Kids for K9s, has raised enough money to buy five more. At the ripe old age of 8, Kayleigh says she plans to stick with her project “until I’m forty, probably.”
I pray today that God would lay on your heart what you can do to make a difference in the world. I pray that the love of Jesus would be portrayed in our actions and in our words and that others may come to know him through us.