August 19, 2011 is World Humanitarian Day and I have a challenge for all of you out there who want to make a difference but aren’t sure where to start. Start Small!! Sometimes it’s the small things we do that have the biggest impact on another person’s life and often you may never know that a smile, a kind word or two, a phone call to an old friend, a card or note to a family member may make a difference. The reward is that you give of yourself.
Let’s make August 19th a day to practice patience, a day of compassion, a day to think of others, a day to make a difference. Are you with me? Great – now let’s think of things anyone can do. Here’s a list I started: hold the door for the person behind you, smile at the next person you see, call an old friend (or email if you must), make a surprise visit to your mom or dad, thank the cashier, laugh instead of growl at the kids, let the person behind you on-line with one item, go first – what else would you add to this list?
Do you have a few extra minutes? Here’s a starter list of ideas: visit an elderly neighbor or stop at the local nursing home with a magazine or puzzle, read to kids at the library, bring a non-perishable food item to your local food pantry, pick up a few personal items to be sent to our Troops, send a thank you note to someone you know who has made a difference, stop at the local park and do a quick clean-up, register to vote, drop off some pet supplies at the local animal shelter, mow your neighbor’s lawn or weed the garden, make a casserole or dessert for a busy mom – now add to this list.
Perhaps you want something more: give some time to your local animal shelter – they need both administrative help and folks to walk the dogs; give some time to the hospital children’s ward or visit vets at the VA; make cookies for the Ronald McDonald House or sign up to make dinner once a month; take photos of a special event and present an album or online album to the recipient; could a sick friend or busy mom use some help around the house or someone to do a load of laundry? Does your local community center or school need homework helpers? How about a 5K run or walk to support a person or charity?
Some more thoughts in making a difference – look at what is important to you or what inspires you and then match that up with need. There are literally hundreds of news stories every day about need or causes that need help. You don’t need to build a school, climb Mount Everest, dig wells, do aid work in other countries but you could if you wanted to – there are organizations and people who can help you follow a dream.
Will you do one thing on August 19th? I’d love to know what you did so write me a comment and I will reply.
Here’s a video that shows people of all sizes and shapes helping their fellow humans. You can do the same thing just Start Small!