Friday, April 27, 2007

Make a Difference Day - What are you doing on October 28th?

A few years ago in Tallahassee, Florida, 350 people gathered to help Disaster Services hand out over 1000 Disaster Information Packets, to help prepare their community for weather related and other threats. How were they able to rally 350 people to help walk neighborhoods on a Saturday morning? USA WEEKEND Magazines organized effort Make A Difference Day provided the platform and people all over the country answered the call.

This year, Make A Difference Day is Saturday, October 28th. Now is the time to begin planning a project to help your community. It can be as simple as collecting clothes for a women's shelter or as labor intensive as opening a new feeding center for the homeless in an abandoned storefront. The beauty is you decide what your town needs, the problem you are passionate about, and how to make it happen. Then execute your efforts this fall on October 28th.

Last year, newly adopted 12 year old Adam Selmon listened to his mother read from the USA WEEKEND magazine about Make A Difference Day. Adam, who was adopted from an orphanage in Liberia, had an idea. He took his African drum to the park and played for passersby. Through donations for his beautiful music, Adam raised $207 to help orphans in his homeland, especially his old friends at Benjamin Britt Academy.

For his efforts, he received $10,000 from Paul Newman's foundation Newman's Own. The money is helping African orphans through a charity in Adam's hometown of Norman, OK.

The Make A Difference Day website,, has a fun project idea generator that will help in brainstorming ideas for projects. The generator lists examples of projects done in the past that might spark your interest, such as the story of a 13 year old who collected 8,500 pair of socks for the homeless; or a couple who used their store to advertise for donations to buy a pre-constructed home for a local family who lived in a tent.

Whatever you chose to do, it's a great opportunity to be part of something larger than yourself and maybe win a $10,000 donation for your favorite cause.

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