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Thank You to Those Who Make a Difference!

Over the last few weeks, a lot of people have been doing things to make a difference for an organization that I care about a lot. It’s called Compass House. During my December challenge, Kate Ellis and Theresa Gray each pledged to make a difference for them, and I was really grateful when they told me they were making some great donations. Mrs. VanEtten’s seventh graders also did a HUGE clothing drive for them too, which was really impressive AND inspiring.

I know I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my blog and with my service work. I’m learning more about the different ways in which people use blogs, and I have some ideas about what I want to do here for the next year. I like the idea of trying to use my blog as a way to share ideas for how people could do small things to make a difference for ANY cause.

Next month, I will be going to Idaho to take part in the Special Olympics World Games. There are so many great things that kids and grown ups can do to make a difference for this organization. I plan to use this month to blog about what I am learning about the Special Olympics. I also want to share some ideas that anyone can use if they want to make a difference for a cause they care about.

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The 2008 Twenty Five Days to Make a Difference Challenge

Happy December 1st! Today marks exactly one year of making a difference and a year that 25 Days to Make a Difference has been around! YAY!  I owe a HUGE THANK YOU to the people that have been through this year with me and have helped me so much. There are really way too many adults and kids and families to name. So THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

This year, I’ve decided that I will do a good deed every day. I invited my younger sister Nina to help. She does a lot of good deeds, but last year, her keyboarding skills made it hard for her to blog about them. Now, she is really excited to post here this month. I’m excited too! Nina rocks.

Please think about doing small things to make a difference every day for the next twenty five days too. Leave a comment here or blog about what you do. The person or family who makes the most difference by December 25th will win a donation to the charity they choose. What’s more important is that people will get to read about all the great things other people do.

This year, we won’t be donating money to charities though. We really like focusing on service work more. So, Nina and I will be donating a month of service work and fundraising to the charity of my winner’s choice. We will also be tweeting about what we are thankful for every day this month. If you’d like, you can follow Nina and I on Twitter at @twentyfivedays. You can tweet about what you are grateful for every day too or what you are doing to make a small difference.

If you are a student, teacher, or school who would like to join in this fun, please consider joining Working Together 2 Make a Difference. This is a ning where classes can show what they are doing to make a difference. It would be really rewarding to see lots of schools doing good deeds and sharing it there. It could inspire other people too!

Today Nina is Thankful For:

My friend Emily. Emily is really nice to everyone. She cheers everyone up, especially me. Emily was in my kindergarten class. Now she is in third grade with me. I see her make lots of people happy every day. I tried to do a good deed today by helping Emily.

Today Laura is Thankful For:

Nina. She is really smart. Today, I helped her with her homework, and this made me feel glad. It makes me feel good that I can help her with something, especially math!

What are you thankful for today and how did you or someone else you know make a difference? Leave a comment and we will start keeping track of all the good things that happen in the next twenty five days.

Working Together 2 Make a Difference and Hints About the December Contest

This month I will be working at Working Together 2 Make a Difference, a Ning for classes to join where all of us can share what we do to make a difference and learn more about what this means from each other! Last month, Jenny Luca created this Ning, and she asked my mom and I to help. It gives all classrooms a chance to show other classes how they do charity work together and begin to get to know each other. If you are a teacher, it would be really cool if you join with your class. My friend Sarah Hanson is leading a project at Alden High School, and I know that some students from Depew Middle will be doing some work with me on this too!

This month, I’ll be working with my mom to help these classes and other local ones make their own pages on the Ning and start sharing ways that they are make a difference. My family and I will also be collecting canned food to donate to area food pantries, because their donations are low at this time of year, I think.

Many people are asking if I plan to do another contest starting December 1st (which is the one year anniversary of my blog). I am, but there are going to be some changes this year, because I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want to do. One new thing is that this year, I’ll be using Twitter to share the small things that I’m doing to make a difference starting on December 1st! If you have an account, please follow me at @twentyfivedays and I will follow you and then maybe we can get lots of people sharing the good things that they are doing. This will be fun and inspiring to keep up with every day during December, don’t you think?

Books, Books and More Books!

A few days ago, I went to go pick up some books for my book drive from Knox Presbyterian Church. They gave me about 15 huge boxes fullof books that were all packed to the top!

I was really excited to see how many books they gave me! It was almost as many as I got from my street! Maybe even more.

When I went to drop off the books to the library, we had to get a library cart AND a big dolley! It was over whelming to see how many books they gave me, and it was all leftovers for a different good deed.

Also, my cousin Suzanne gave me about 20 big boxes full of books too from Rich Products. They had also been left over from a good deed. She helped have a big book sale there and all of the money went to the Make a Wish Foundation.

I think that it’s really great how we all can make a bigger difference together by doing something small by ourselves first. Suzanne and Knox Church each had their own sales for charity, and then I did a little drive on my street. Because everyone came together our library got A LOT of books.

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Okay, so as you may know, my book drive was supposed to be my July charity. But because we got a late start and because the response was so HUGE, I am going to be carrying this into the end of August. We still have boxes and boxes of books in my living room to take to the library. This will be our FOURTH CAR LOAD! All together, my neighbors, Rich Products, and Knox Presbyterian Church must have donated over 1000 books to the library!!!

My new charity will start n September 1st! If you have any charities that I could use, you can contact me at twentyfivedays@gmail.com or leave me a comment in my comment box! I already have some really good ideas, including helping out animal charities and one really cool one for teachers.

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A New Month, A New Charity!

The first time I walked into my Public Library, I was really excited. They always have great displays outside. I could already smell the crisp paper inside each and every book, old or new.

When I first walked in, I could see books that were recommended inside a bin. I could see the check out register.

As I ventured to the kid’s section of the library, I saw people looking for movies, on the libraries computers and studying. Then I knew that I had hit the jackpot, BOOKS GALORE!

The whole back end of the Library was kids books. magazines, picture books, videos, tape books, chapter books and more. About every type of book you could think of was there.  Eventually, this became one of my favorite places to be.

Yesterday I called the library to ask if they take book donations. As many of you know, many libraries are in need of books or are underfunded. So, because I think that my library is really great, I want to turn my library into my charitiy for this month.

I think that it would be really cool if I started a book drive. For this month, I am going to turn my book drive into a neighborhood book drive. What I will do is make fliers requesting book donations and tommorrow I am going to distribute them on my neighboring streets. Later on, I will collect books with my sister using my wagon. Then, I’m going to donate them to my public library! If you know me and have books to donate, please let me know! You can also donate them to you OWN library–just call to see if they accept donations!

The person who donates the most books this month will win a twenty dollar donation to the charity of his or her choice! Please email me or leave a comment to let me know what you do to help libraries!

Bake Sales and Lemonade Sales and Badges! Oh My!

A few days ago, Mr. Morris from Wetpaint asked me to think about helping the China Earthquake Relief Fund. This will help rebuild schools in China that were destroyed in the earthquake. The people working for the China Earthquake Relief Fund want to raise $50,000.00 so they can build safe schools for children in China.

So, this evening, at dinner, my mom dad and I talked about what I could do to raise money for this. I thought about doing a bake sale. My mom thought it might be a good idea to try to start a global bake sale or lemonade sale. On July 14, I will be having a huge bake sale and lemonade sale in my yard. We have a block sale that day, and all of the money I raise at my bake/lemonade sale will go to the China Earthquake Relief Fund. If YOU help out, we could raise even more money to donate together. You can participate as an individual, a family, or a classroom or school even. All you need to do is have a sale on your own and donate the money directly to the China Earthquake Relief Fund. I can’t accept any money from anyone myself, but you can send it right to them!

My dad thought about making badges for everyone who participates. If YOU decide to do a bake or lemonade sale to raise money to donate to the China Earthquake Relief fund in the coming months, you will receive a blog badge from me to put on your blog, if you have one. You will also win a magnetic badge too. And if you want, I will even Skype with classes to thank them. Magnetic badges will be sent in the mail. I am looking forward to making all of these. It’s going to be fun! In the future, I hope to support more global causes and to give away different badges for every cause I choose.

I really hope that some different people from all around the world will participate in this global bake sale for the China Earthquake Relief Fund. I hope YOU take on this challange! And if you aren’t able to bake or sell lemonade you could spread the word about this contest. Please consider blogging about it, using Twitter to write about it, or asking someone you know to take part.

DON’T FORGET TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU PARTICIPATE! I WILL SEND YOUR BADGES THROUGH EMAIL AND THE REGULAR MAIL!

And if anyone else has ideas to encourage people to participate, please blog about them too or let me know and I’ll spread the word!

  

Reflecting On the WNY-PLP

Meeting Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum Beach

A little while ago, I was asked to present at the WNY-PLP celebration. Mr. Richardson and Ms. Nussbaum Beach were here to work with teachers who are using things like blogs in their classrooms. It was a really big honor to be asked to do this!

I learned a lot by giving this presentation too.

I met a lot of people who are interested in technology and who teach with it in their classrooms. Before I presented, my mom and I did an unconference, and I met with people who were interested in learning more about my blog. In class, sometimes, my teacher asks us to read and use post-its to record what we are thinking about, like our connections. The unconference was sort of like having a book talk and sharing all of our thoughts.

There was also a separate room where school teams were showing off how they use technology in their curriculums. People were talking in groups and it was really loud in there because everyone was so excited and talking all about what they were doing! It was really cool to see TEACHERS being students. I’ve never seen this before.

Last night, my mom showed me the book that Mr. Richardson wrote, and the cover is exactly like his blog. It looks the same. I thought it was really cool, and it makes me wonder how they did that.

Giving my presentation helped me organize all of my thoughts about blogging and everything we’ve been able to do–my readers and me–for the charities we help. I never really spent much time doing this. It was both a great opportunity and a good chance for me to think about setting some new goals too.