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The Special Olympics

“Let me win. But if I cannot  win, let me be brave in the attempt.”- The Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath

I think that quote is important to think of whenever you are competing in something. The Special Olympics is a non profit organization that was founded in 1968 and is held all over the world. They want to help kids and adults with intellectual disbilities to become healthier. I’ll be spending some time this year focusing on this because I was asked to go to Idaho this year, where the Special Olympics World Games are to attend the Global Youth Summit that  is linked to this organization.

One of the things I’ve learned a lot about over the last year is that some nonprofits really try to make a place for kids who want to make a difference. When they do this, it helps us feel more welcome and this way, we might want to help that group for a long time. The Special Olympics is like this, and I am really excited that Andrea Kahn called me and asked me if I would like to join the Global Youth Summit. I get to go there in February, and I plan to spend this much learning as much as I can about how I can serve this organization well. I plan to blog about what I learn here and about my experiences at the Global Youth Summit too.

I also plan to start sharing ideas for how kids can make a difference doing small things as often as I can. I’m learning a lot about this, and I hope that I can learn more but connecting to others who do the same thing.

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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.

December 5, 2008

 Laura:

Today I am grateful for Nina’s laugh and smile.

Nina has always cheered me up, especially with her laugh. Her laugh is really small, but it is really nice to hear. For some reason, it always make me feel warm and smile. When she laughs it’s kind of like cold medicine when you have a REALLY bad cold and like music after a deaf person becomes able to hear.

Her smile is really refreshing too. Nina’s smile is like when you finally get to see that pretty night blooming flower come out. I can’t stand it when she is unhappy. I like to see her smile, it is a pink blossom of light into a dark spooky room, it always will show.

So today, because Nina means so much to me, I am going to play doll house with her when I’m done tweeting and blogging for today because I know that she really wants to and I want to give the gift of happiness to he too.

 

Nina:

Today I am thankful for my friends.Today I helped one of them do the baseline for hot cross buns on recorder.

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?

A New Vote!

 All month, I’ve been collecting bottles and change to support animal charities like the ASPCA and the Ten Lives Club. Today I was trying to figure out how to help more when I had an idea. What if I asked you to share your favorite animal charities with me so I can write about them here? I’d like to learn more about the great ways in which you like to help animals. If you email me your ideas or leave them in the comments, I will report on it at the end of the month!

Also, if you email or leave a comment for me on how much you’ve made a difference for animals this month, I will give a twenty dollar donation to the charity of your choice if you end up being the person who has made the most difference.

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!