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Skype Chat With The Bloggers of 17 Chances to Help

 

The first thing I would like to write about today (or tonight) is my Skype chat with the bloggers at 17 chances to Make a Difference. Mrs. Hernandez invited me to be interviewed by her class. They were the same age as I am.

I thought that everyone was really nice. I was really excited to do this chat, and I am excited for the next skype chat I will have. Mrs. Hernandez said we might be able to Skype again. I felt bad because I was able to see the class but they couldn’t see me. They had a webcam, but we don’t have one yet. I’m hoping that next time we will.

I thought that the questions and anwsers they gave me were really different from anybody else’s. I think that the younger you are the more different your questions are because most adults ask the same things of me, but kids have different questions for kids. Mabey that’s just how I feel.

The kids from 17 Chances to Help asked me really great questions like what kind of music I like. They also said that I have an accent, because they are from Florida, and I am from New York, which was really funny.

I hope that I will get to talk with them again. I also hope you will visit their site because they are blogging about making a difference too!

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Learning About Internet Communities

Coco was the adult grand prize winner of my December challenge! Today, she let me know that she has committed to an entire year of making a difference too, and what is even better is that she started a blog about making a difference, just like me! This is really great, and I am so excited about this. I hope other people will do the same thing.

Coco’s site is a safe site, like mine. She is moderating comments, and she also put a sitemeter up as well. I’ve added Coco to my blogroll too.

If you have a safe site that is focused on positive ways to make a difference in the world, please let me know! I will add you to my blogroll too. I think it would be really interesting if I could meet some more kids to link to as well. I am learning about internet networks and communities right now. Coco and I have two little “houses” in the same neighborhood now. This is like a community. And we will visit each other!

My mom also showed me an article today that Mr. Will Richardson wrote about sites like mine. Mr. Richardson is leading a big project with schools where I live, and he is also an author. I was really surprised and happy that he wrote about my site. His article sent me some visitors today. Thank you Mr. Richardson!!!!

Caught Making a Difference

Today, Mrs. Strong, my gym teacher, showed a lot of trust in my friends and me by telling us that we could use heart rate monitors whenever we are in the gym. I really like using the heart rate monitors, and they are really ixpensive. You have to wear a watch that tells you how many minutes you have been working and how fast your heart is going. One watch by itself costs around $250.00, and she said that if it falls on concrete it will break. I know we are lucky to be able to use them.

Mrs.Strong is a very pretty gym teacher who also coaches a volleyball team. She cares a lot about us and the sports we play. Also, she really trusts my friends and me. Trust means a lot to me. I think that it’s great that she trusts my classmates and me.

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An Update on Supporting my Cause of the Month: Ski4E!

Yesterday, I got an email message from Ethan Glaser’s grandmother. She told me some great things about Ethan! He sounds like an inspiring boy.

As I mentioned yesterday, Ethan needed to have a liver transplant when he was little! That sounds really kind of scary, but it hasn’t slowed him down at all. Ethan likes to ski and ice skate, and his grandma says that he has a really great sense of humor! Ethan calls his grandma “granny”, and I like that. My friends Sam and Kate call their grandma “granny” too. It’s a pretty name.

Today, I have begun collecting change so that I can make a donation to Ski4E at the end of this month! I also plan to return bottles and go on another penny hunt this month too. And don’t forget to PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR DASH’S CASH REGISTER RECEIPTS! These can really help the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.

I really want to say a big THANK YOU to my teacher, Mrs. Nabozny, at Lindbergh Elementary School! She gives me time to talk about my project in class, and she lets me encourage my classmates to participate. My classmates are great!

Please remember to support Ski4E and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association this month! Let me know what you do to make a difference, and you could win a prize from me at the end of this month and the opportunity to be named as a donor at the end of the month, along with me!

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I’ve started saving for Ski4E! You can donate here! Let me know if you do!

Please Help Me Support The Children’s Organ Transplant Association!

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Piper Walnicki is a baby who was born at South Buffalo Mercy Hospital last year. This is the same hospital that I was born in! Isn’t she beautiful? I love babies. I can’t wait to babysit someday. Right now, I get to practice by helping my neighbor take care of her granddaughter, AJ! AJ is a little older than Piper.

Piper is this year’s COTA child, sponsored by Ski4e. She has Biliary Artresia, which requires her to have a liver transplant very soon. I am going to spend this month doing some service work for Piper and for Ski4e. I am also going to try to raise some funds too!

Ski4e is an organization that helps to fund the Children’s Organ Transplant Assocation. It was founded in the name of Chad and Debbie Glaser’s son. His name is Ethan. Etthan had Biliary Atresia when he was born, like Piper, and his dad donated part of his liver to Ethan to save his life. Now, the Glaser’s work to help children like Piper.

I am going to do several things this month to try help the Glasers. First, I am going to collect Dash’s Markets register tapes, because 5% of of the total bill amount will be donated to help kids like Piper. If you are a friend or family member of mine will you please help me by collecting these too? Please give them to me at school, give them to my mom or dad, or mail them to my house even! If you live in Western New York and shop at Dash’s you can also send your tapes right to the Glasers!

Here is the address:

Ski4E

P.O. Box 14, East Amherst, N.Y. 14051

You can also organize a dress down day or become a corporate sponsor of Ski4E too! If you are interested in doing this, please take a look at the documents below. These might help you!

new-corp-sponsorship-letter.pdf

ski4e-2008-corporate-sponsor-levels.pdf

dress-down-day-new-letter.pdf

Please remember to let me know if you decide to do any of these things!! I am planning to give a small prize to those readers who make the most difference for COTA and Ski4E during this month! I would like to keep track of how you are making a difference! And if you are chosen, I will also name YOU as a donor with me at the end of this month, when I make my individual donation!!!!

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Speaking of making a difference, I “caught” someone making a difference for my family and for me today! Miss Pat and Mr. Gerry take really good care of me and Nina. Today, Miss Pat made me and Nina hot cocoa, and because she knows I like to cook, she watched Food Network with me and helped me pick out a recipe for onion rings that I would like to try. She also told me that she would save register tapes with me, and this means a lot to me.

I love you, Miss Pat! You are awesome!

A New Year of Making a Difference

Today, I’m going to begin a whole year’s worth of 25 day challenges! Doing this for a whole year is exciting. My mom asked me some questions, to help me think about what I want to tell you about the year ahead and how you can participate. Read on to learn more!

1. Why did you decide to devote a full year to this?

Because I really wanted to keep blogging all year round in order to make a difference. Even if I didn’t have a lot of people reading, I would still want to do this. But having a lot of readers has made me want to keep writing about service every day because blogging really does get more people involved in trying to do good things! I want to use my blog throughout the year to focus more on what other people are doing to make a difference too. If you read all of my comments, you can really get inspired.

2. How will the 25 day challenges work all year long?

This year, I am supporting a different cause each month. During each month, I will be serving the cause I have chosen in different ways. For instance, I might donate items, raise funds, or do some volunteer work for that cause.

I am also going to blog about it, and since the causes I have chosen have chapters in many places and websites too, my readers will be able to make a difference too! I am going to challenge my readers to support the cause I have selected, and I will remind them to leave a comment or send me an email at twentyfivedays(at)gmail(dot)com to let me know that I should keep track of them and how they are making a difference all month long.

Each month, the adult, the child, and any classroom who makes the most difference in supporting my cause will win a small gift box from me (which I will send via snail mail), permanent recognition on my blog (including a link to appropriate websites), and when I make my personal monthly donation, I will name the winners as donors along with myself.

3. Which causes are you supporting?

This year, I am really excited about helping Ski4e, Suneel’s Light, Our Local National Safe Place–Compass House, Project Snuggle, The SPCA, My School, The Pajama Program, Our Local Down’s Syndrome Parent’s Group, Project Linus, Children to Children, The Erie County Library, and World Vision.

More information about what I will be doing with these different causes will follow. I have been in contact with many of the directors of these organizations to see how I can help.

4. Why did you pick these causes?

I picked these causes because they mean a lot to me. They are all causes that help children or animals. Most of these causes are smaller, and they may not get as much attention as causes that are more well-known. My grandpa would have liked this. I also tried to pick causes that have local chapters all over the country and world, so a lot of people who are reading can also participate in their own communities.

5. What if people can’t participate for all 25 Days?

People do not have to participate in the whole 25 Day Challenge in order to make a difference in the world. I like to hear from other people who are doing little things to make a difference every day. Other readers like to hear these stories too. This is why I am going to focus every daily entry on someone else who has made a difference. I am going to call these entries Caught Making a Difference. I will share your stories about others and mine as well. So please send them along!

If you can’t participate in supporting my cause all month long, there are many other things that you can do to help. Visit my Please Help page to see what might interest you!

6. How does blogging help you make a difference?

Blogging helps me make a difference because nobody would have known about my challenge unless I blogged about it. Because I blogged about it, several important people who devote their lives to making a difference used their understanding of web 2.0 tools to spread the word about making a difference. I didn’t know anything about what web 2.0 tools were when I started doing this, but now my mom and I both know a little more about things like Twitter and Technorati and Digg and Stumble Upon because a lot of my readers have used those things to make people aware of my site. So, then more people do more good things! The things I do are really little, but my blog helps me spread the word and build a COMMUNITY of people who want to do good things too. I have learned that my blog can be like one little house inside a bigger neighborhood in this way. And all of us can make a difference. This makes me feel really excited because I don’t feel like one little kid who is alone in trying to make a difference.

7. How can people join the challenge for this month?

Email me or leave me a comment to let me know that you would like to be a participant in this month’s challenge. I am supporting Ski4E. More information can be found here, and I am also going to be speaking more with Ethan’s grandmother soon about how I can help! Look for a longer entry about this tomorrow!!

If you are a participant, please email me regularly to let me know how you are supporting Ski4E this month. Or you can BLOG ABOUT IT, which would be even better! I will link to your blog on my site if you do. Adults, children, and classrooms are welcome to participate! I will be announcing the winners of this month’s challenge on Januwary 25th! Please email me if you have any questions!

Happy New Year!

A Little Something to Pass Along

Two days ago, I found out that Susan from Toddler Planet awarded my blog with this neat badge:

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This is an award that bloggers give to other bloggers for building community online. I am really excited to be receiving this! Thank you, Susan! And everyone should go and congratulate her on her good news. Susan is battling inflammatory breast cancer, and she has been dealing with chemotherapy treatments for a very long time in order to make her tumors “operable” because they weren’t before. And now they are! Which is good news for Susan! I am happy for her and happy that even in the middle of all of this, she thought of me.

Because I won this award, I now get to pass it along to three OTHER bloggers who are building community too! And I had to think hard about who I wanted to give it to. But I have chosen three great people: Roger Carr, Jen Lemen, and Mrs. Lykowski.

Roger Carr’s website, The Everyday Giving Blog, is all about helping others. I know that Mr. Carr has built a HUGE COMMUNITY of charitable people there, because he sends a lot of readers who respect him to my site. I also like what his site is all about. The type of community he is building is something that means a lot to me.

Jen Lemen’s website sends me lots of visitors every single day. I admire Jen because she is an artist and she focuses her art on really positive things. Reading about things like this makes me feel happy inside.

Mrs. Lykowski is a teacher in Michigan. Her students are building community with a group of students from Columbia! They have a Wiki and podcasts that are really interesting to listen to. This is where Columbian students talk about what they think American students and schools are like. Michigan students do the same thing. I love listening to them!

So, thank you Susan for giving me this badge to put on my blog! I hope that the people I have passed it to will do the same. Each of them can also pass the badge along to three other people as well! If you have questions, you can email my mom at twentyfivedays(at)gmail(dot)com.

 

Drumroll, Please! Announcing the Winners!

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Merry Christmas everybody! As you all know, today is the day I have been waiting for! I am about to announce the winners of the contests– the GRAND PRIZES, the BETTER LATE THAN NEVER PRIZES, and the CLASSROOM CHALLANGE PRIZE. Some people have been wondering how my mom and I kept track of the people who were participating. Well, that was easy. We kept a spread sheet on Microsoft Excel. Every night, we looked at my comments and secretly looked at your blogs to see what you did to make a difference. Then, my mom showed me how to cut and paste the things you wrote into our spreadsheet. People who didn’t blog e-mailed us everyday, saying what they did.  We have been keeping track all month long. Reading about all the things you’ve done has made my holiday the best one yet! This has been a wonderful learning experience for me, not only learning how to blog better, but learning that doing small things can make the world a very merry place! Reading about all of the good things that you did were great presents for me! So, I want to say thank you to all 60 people and 6 classrooms that took part in this challenge!

And now, drumroll please!!!

Thanks to everyone who matched my donations, we have $825.00 dollars to award tonight! This morning, my teacher, Mrs. Nabozny, gave me a very special Christmas gift by matching my funds. Thank you to everyone! I only ever planned to contribute my allowance for this month. It’s because of everyone else’s pledges that this got so HUGE!

There are two prizes for those who either joined later in the contest or may not have done all twenty five days. I have named these the Better Late Than Never Prizes, and I have picked one adult and one child winner. Each winner will receive a $100.00 donation to the charity that they name.

The adult winner is NEDRASome of the things that Nedra did included donating food to a food bank, buying supplies for a local classroom, using Roswell Park Christmas cards this year, buying clothes for needy children, feeding hungry animals, helping someone who experienced a death in her family this year, helping to run a holiday concert, and writing lots of notes of appreciation (among many other things)!  

The child prize is being awarded to the DUVALL FAMILY! Addie stayed late after her Brownie meeting to help clean up, she shoveled and dug a neighbor out of the snow, they donated supplies for soldiers overseas, emptied their piggy banks to contribute to a school fundraiser, gave money to the Salvation Army, and even shared the last of their favorite treats with their siblings rather than keeping them all for themselves!

There are also two Grand Prize Winners (one adult and one child). These winners participated right from the beginning of our contest! Donations in the amount of $250.00 (each) will be made directly to the charities that you name.

Our adult winner was Coco! Coco did so much this season that I can’t write it all here….but some of the highlights included making donations to the Salvation Army, donating clothes and books, starting online gift registries for the Salvation Army, visiting local fireman with homemade treats to thank them for their help all year long, donating food to food banks, donating toys to local hospitals, being kind to drivers by letting them cut in front of her. Supporting the Susan G. Komen foundation and joining Team WhyMommy. There is so much, much more…Coco has been really inspiring this season.

The child Grand Prize is being awarded to Lillian, Duncan, Hunter, and Drew!!! Some of the things that they did included donating books to a youth book exchange, helping their grandparents with a tricky home renovation purchase, creating multimedia holiday cards for troops overseas, donating free mammagrams, paying for a random shopper’s purchase at a Hostess store–because she was short on cash, and babysitting for those who needed it during the holiday season. These kids live in Utah, too–and they have shoveled more snow than any other person involved in this contest has. Again, they did more too, but these are just the highlights.

And finally, we have one winner of the Classroom Challenge. The winning classroom will win a $125.00 donation to the charity that they name as well as this very special prize from Susan and her husband at Toddler Planet:

 A 4 foot x 3 foot photo printout of the Martian landscape taken by the Mars rovers, a packet of solar system lithographs, and a special video conference call (or audio, if the school doesn’t have a webcam) with two NASA scientists.  We’ll give a talk and answer questions from the winning class. 

This winning classroom did quite a lot to make a difference using technology. First of all, the STUDENTS created a classroom WIKI, which will help to keep all of them organized and informed. The ENTIRE SCHOOL also participated in a “Free Rice Marathon.” Students were brought to the computer lab in 15 minute shifts all day long. They worked on over thirty computers and were able to “win” and “donate” 750,000 grains of rice through the United Nations to end world hunger. You can all play free rice (for free!) here. And the winner of the Classroom Challenge was Mr. Jones’s class! Congratulations!!!

Thank you, again, for making this holiday season so special for everyone!

If you are a winner, please email us by New Year’s Day to name your charity. Mr. Jones! You can let us know as soon as you are able to meet with your class again–no rush!

And if you are someone who has matched my funds, we will let you know via email which charity you can forward your donation to as soon as we have that information from our winners.

I will also be writing a post so that everyone who is reading knows exactly which charities benefitted from this contest and our generous contributors.

Writing this post was kind of sad for me, because I have really enjoyed doing this so much. A lot of people are asking if I will be doing this again next year, and the answer is YES. I will definitely be doing this contest again next year! I am also thinking about how I want to use this blog all year long. My mom and I are going to talk about that this week, while I am off, and I will announce my plans very soon! So, don’t leave just yet!

Congratulations, everybody!!!! And thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!