Make a Difference Day

Justin made a difference by working with Postcrossing to send postcards to Reagyn, a fifth grade student from London, Ohio. She has a stage three brain tumor, and she and her family recently had to move to Virginia so that she could receive radiation special treatments. Her teacher wanted to do something to make her feel special, so when Reagyn asked for help in collecting postcards from all over the world, the teacher recruited help from other Postcrossing collectors. (She is still accepting postcards, so check the link at the end of the blog if you would like to help.)


Today is Make a Difference Day, the Nation’s Largest Day of Service.

Thanks to USA WEEKEND, who came up with idea, people all across the United States are working together to help their neighbors in need.

If you’re interested in joining in, please visit the official Make a Difference Day website:

While you are there, be sure to check out the information about reporting the results of your project. Participants are eligible to receive $10,000 for a charitable donation. (Sorry, you don’t get to keep it.) It’s really easy to join in and to be counted among the many others who are making a difference October 23.

The folks at USA Weekend require their participants to actually be involved on October 23. My students, however, have so many activities filling their weekends that they have taken time this week to perform random acts of kindness, such as washing their teachers’ desks, helping their teachers transport items for our recent Homecoming Day activities and volunteering time to help their clubs raise money. Some of this money will be used for the Thanksgiving food drive and various Christmas projects.

Justin (pictured at the top of this blog) chose to send a postcard to a very sick child who requested to collect postcards from the world. He found her story, as told through her teacher, from Postcrossing. Postcrossing: The Postcard Crossing Project is a fun project year around and nationwide. Participants must first create an account and request and address and Postcard ID. They mail the postcard to that address. A postcard will then be mailed to them. Participants register their Postcard ID they received, and follow the same steps to receive more postcards.

Other people who have joined in the fun say it’s almost like Christmas when the postcards begin to arrive. The postcards both encourage and brighten the day of the receiver (and sender). Teachers can get on board and create a project for their students of all ages. An entire class can “travel the world” without stepping outside their classroom.

For more information, please visit this site:

Please consider making a difference in someone else’s life. Be sure to leave a comment so that you might encourage others to do the same.

Congratulations to all of you for making a difference in someone else’s life. You made a difference in mine by just commenting on my blog. Keep up the great work. I hope that someone will surprise you next week with something special that lifts your spirits.

Casey won a copy of the Max Lucado DVD, Christmas Child. Yes, believe it or not, Christmas is just around the corner. Make a Difference Day is a just sneak peek into the season of giving.


When you look in the mirror, who do you see?

One of the most uncomfortable consequences about being a writer or wanting to be a writer is that a writer must make herself vulnerable to the world. That’s right. Once the words spill out, they lie there naked, waiting to criticized.


If I have any advice to bequeath to a beginner, it is this:  Develop thick skin, rhino skin. That’s the area I’m working on. Oh, writing is great—when readers have positive things to say, but when the writer is misunderstood, well then, the rhino skin repels the fiery darts.

There is a fine line between confidence and bragging, another fine line between concern and whining. Writers should be “oh so careful” not to cross that line. I have the words “More of You, Less of Me” on a Post-It note on my computer. I have to remind myself that God allows me to write. I’m not entitled to this pleasure. It is a gift.

It’s better to take “me” out of the picture and to focus on the craft.

One of the best things I like about interviewing people and writing about their lives is that I can hide behind the story. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with publication of any type of writing. But when I write about other people, I’m baring their souls, not my own. My byline gets lost below the headline and somewhere among the pictures. I kind of like that.

But writing fiction is another story. The writer is put in the limelight, ready to be torn apart or to be set upon a pedestal. Either situation can be dangerous.

A beginning writer like myself is too easily reminded of how far she is from perfection or publication. It’s too easy to become consumed with oneself.

So instead of talking about me, I would rather turn our attention to a special day, Make a Difference Day 2010, sponsored by USA Weekend and the Hands On Network. This year’s day falls on October 23, 2010.

As a teacher, I have encouraged my students to participate in Make a Difference Day for several years. My students have used their time and talents to sing at nursing homes, to read to people with vision problems, to clean up the park, to rake the yards of elderly neighbors, to visit nursing homes, etc. Some of my students have even made the day a family affair. That’s cool.

What I like about Make a Difference Day is that I can get over myself and can help others at the same time.

I challenge you to get involved in Make a Difference Day. If you can’t participate on October 23, choose another day leading up to that weekend and participate then. I will share some of ways my students are making a difference on October 23. Why don’t you join in?

I feel a contest coming on for October 23. More details will follow.

Make a Difference Day typically involves hands-on help, but we can make a difference just by extending gratitude or kindness through our words, not just our actions.

There are three types of people who take my heart:

  1. The person who helps me fit in even when I don’t
  2. The person who encourages me when I fail
  3. The person who says “thank you” (or shows it through actions) when I offer a gift—not so much a material gift, but the gift of my trust

Who has made a difference in your life?

Maybe in appreciation of Make a Difference Day you can honor your special people with a mention in your blog.

Make a difference.

Please take the time to click on the blogs below. In big or small ways, these writers have touched my heart or lifted my spirits. It’s my way of saying “thank you” for making a difference in my life.