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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!

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A Meme About Making a Difference

My mom has been teaching me about memes. I came up with some good questions about what it means to make a difference. I am going to answer all of these questions myself, and then I am going to tag some of YOU to answer them in your blogs or in my comments section! Memes are one way to start a conversation between blogs or between a blogger and his or her readers. I answered all of this by myself, but my mom is typing for me tonight so I am not staying up past my bedtime : )!

1. In your opinion, what does it mean to make a difference?

It means you are helping someone or making something better. It doesn’t mean you have to do something really big (like saving the Rainforest). It means you can do something small (like recycling).

2. What is an example of a unique way to make a difference?

The most unique thing I’ve done to make a difference, I think, was to recycle bottles and then donate the money to Suneel’s Light. Some of the unique things that other people are doing through my contest were saving a cat, feeding expired parking meters, and paying for the Tim Horton’s order of the person behind them in the drive thru!

3. Who has made a difference in YOUR life this week?

My family has and all of the people who are reading this blog and leaving comments. I’ve really learned that a little good goes a very long way!

My teacher, Mrs. Nabozny, has also made a difference in my life this week. She’s taught me that having a book club can be complicated but fun. I started a book club at school because she helped me! I love books!

4. If I didn’t have a blog, would you still be making a difference?

I would still be trying to make a difference, but the difference wouldn’t be as “big.” First of all, I know that I need to come here every day to blog about what I’m doing, and if I don’t do anything, I won’t have anything to write about. Having an audience encouraging me makes me want to do even more good things! I also think it is kind of fun making a difference every day and writing about it every day. I love looking at my comments too! It is fun to see what everyone else is doing.

5. What is your favorite thing about the internet?

That the internet can teach me things. Sometimes, people don’t give accurate information about things, but when you use the internet well, you can get a lot of good information. It is also fast! I like finding answers quickly. I have also been able to talk with people from all over the world who have things in common with me! I have new friends in India and Guam and New Zealand and Chicago!

I am tagging Orange Soda 2000, Coco, Sarah W., Lillian, Duncan, Hunter and Drew, Sheila Cason, and Kelly Genet! I’d also like it if some of the students and teachers who are participating can blog about this too!  Can you please answer these questions on your blog or in my comments? And then, if you can, tag someone else too!

Contest News and Matching Funds

Today, I received an email message from Mr. Roger Carr, who has offered to “match” my funds for the Christmas charity donation give away! THANK YOU MR. CARR! Also, his blog is very neat, and I think you should go see it right now. And, Laura (great name), Gabrielle, and Laurie, the founders of Sk*rt have also offered to make a similar match! Finally, two AWESOME TEACHERS FROM STARPOINT CENTRAL SCHOOL have added another $25.00 to our total. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Fisher!!! So, as of today, our Christmas day charity give away will be for $100.00 instead of just $25.00. Wow!!!!

Also! My mom and I decided that it might be fun to host a badge contest for the Twenty Five Days to Make a Difference challenge, since a few of you have suggested we create blog badges. You can find information about the contest here! My parents have matched my funds as well, so a twenty five dollar charity donation prize is attached to this as well. I hope we get some good ideas (mostly because my mom has no idea how to do this)!

How I Made a Difference on December 2

Today I made a difference by recycling pop cans. This made a difference because recycling leads to less garbage and it is less wasteful. If everyone in the world recycled instead of throwing things out, our environment would be healthier.

 

I made $13.20, and I donated it to Suneel’s Light. Suneel is a boy about my age who has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. His organization is working for a cure. At first, I thought about donating to the Salvation Army, but then I thought about my friend Kristen and her role in Suneel’s life. Kristen is Suneel’s tutor and friend. She also helps with Suneel’s Light. One thing that you can do to help fight MD and support Suneel is to use Good Search as your web search engine rather than things like Google. Please select Suneel’s Light as your chosen charity. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!

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