October 25th is Make a Difference Day. It’s a day that was created to encourage people to improve the lives of others. For some people, being of service to other people is second nature, for others, it takes some effort. For those of you who need some inspiration, here are 5 ways you can make a difference.
Raise Money for Victims of Disasters Disasters hit anytime and anywhere. The American Red Cross aids in about 70,000 disasters in the United States every year. From forest fires to hurricanes, millions of people are touched by disasters and are in need of help — whether it’s food, clothing or shelter. Raising money for the Red Cross or another disaster relief organization provides aid in all forms to people who have lost everything due to disasters.
Foster a Dog or Cat According to the ASPCA, more than seven million pets are taken in by animal shelters every year — almost three million are euthanized. Some shelters don’t have the space to accommodate every cat or dog that needs a home and some pets aren’t wired to be around that many animals or they’re too young. Rather than euthanize healthy cats and dogs, shelters make fostering available to people who can’t provide a forever home. By fostering one pet, you can make a difference in the lives of many pets. If you’re an animal lover, giving a temporary home to a shelter pet is rewarding for both you and the animals.
Support the Troops and Their Families There are many ways you can support our troops! If you want to go big, you can donate money or volunteer at organizations like Project Sanctuary. It’s a place where soldiers go with their families after returning from a tour of duty to heal and bond. But your contribution can be as simple as writing letters or sending care packages to deployed soldiers or even help mailing those packages — every little bit makes a difference.
Help Your Neighbor You don’t have to think beyond your block to make a difference. You can make a difference to someone by doing little things like raking leaves in your senior neighbor’s yard, helping a single mom by walking her child to school or bringing a meal to a sick neighbor. Everyone needs help but not everyone asks for it; it’s up to you to offer it.
Volunteer at a Nursing Home There are a number of ways to volunteer at a nursing home, but one of the most appreciated is as a visiting friend. Talking and sharing stories doesn’t seem like much work, but seniors look forward to new friends and a chat over coffee. There are also programs in which you can visit seniors living alone in their own homes. Volunteers are especially needed around the holidays, but visiting volunteers are welcome year-round.
There are so many ways you can make a difference in someone’s life without even trying. Start small and eventually you’ll make a big difference.