How to Make a Difference in December

With the the holiday season fast approaching, I thought it wise to share my favourite Christmas blog entry with educators and students.

I’m often amazed at the influence that a single individual can have when shared through the power of the Internet. One has only to visit web sites devoted to Hannah Taylor, Ryan Hreljac, or Randy Pausch to see how an idea or message can blossom and spread.

However, as December is about to start, I think that readers should investigate the following powerful blog idea:

Twenty-Five Days to Make a Difference
subtitled
“It Doesn’t Matter if You’re 6 or 26 or 106”

Laura Stockman, a ten year old girl, decided to save her December allowance of $1.00 per day to donate to a worthy charity on Christmas day in honour of her recently deceased grandfather. In the “About” section of her blog, she states:

In December of 2007, I decided that the best way to remember my grandpa during the holiday season would be by living my life like he did, by making a difference and being a leader. I decided to honor my grandfather’s memory by trying to make a difference every day for twenty five days. I wanted to be able to do little things, like kids my age typically do, instead of HUGE things that are sometimes hard for kids like me. I decided to write about my adventures here, and I also created a challenge.

I challenged everyone who read my blog to TRY to do something every single day during the holiday season to make a SMALL difference in his or her world. I explained that whoever made the “most difference” in December would win a $25.00 donation to the charity of his or her choice on Christmas night.

Imagine the delight of Laura to find several people who were willing to match her contribution and more! Would your students be willing to create or support a service project and contribute to a blog to share their story? If you don’t think youngsters can have an impact and a world-wide audience, double-click Laura’s “clustr map” to gain an important insight as to what countries her viewers represent.

As an educator I enjoyed the inspirational 2000 movie called “Pay It Forward”, staring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment. To gain insight into this powerful idea, one should view the “Pay It Forward” video clip. I encourage you to rent it at a video store as it will impact you in much the same way as Laura’s passionate blog.

Imagine how your students could have a positive impact if you introduce ideas and concepts that are shared as teacher resources from organizations like the Pay it Forward Foundation or the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Perhaps your students might consider donating, during the holiday season, to the Kiva organization to help reduce poverty by lending money to entrepreneurs around the globe. Through such endeavours, we are all winners.

Thank you Laura for your inspiration!

Take care & keep smiling 🙂

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10 Responses to How to Make a Difference in December

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  2. Great Post Brian. Will be thinking about this as we roll out the third 2 minutes project this week.

  3. admin says:

    Chris … Your students are doing OUTSTANDING work in their “2 Minutes to Make a Difference”. I visited your school wiki at: http://sargentpark8.wetpaint.com/ and was so impressed with the way in which your educational team have integrated many subjects into this initiative. The “Spinquiry 2009” videos and celebration awards was truly a treasure. Dr. Tim Tyson, together with all the other educators and students that you have positively influenced, would be so proud of your accomplishments. Undoubtedly, Sargent Park has become Manitoba’s “Mabry”!
    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

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  6. Howard Zugman says:

    Dear LLL,

    Thank you so much for mentioning Kiva in your post. That organization is very high on the “making a difference” scale in my opinion.

  7. admin says:

    Howard … As this marks the American Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to be thankful for all the contributors to Kiva and all those involved in facilitating a “hand up” to those in need.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

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