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December 19-22 2008

Laura: On December 19, I was especially thankful for the work that my parents do to keep our house so nice and clean and cheery all the time. They always work their her hardest to give us a nice home. So, I folded all of the laundry that was waiting in baskets in the basement. There was a lot! It was challenging, but I know that my parents do even more challenging things everyday to make me happy.

Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time playing in the snow with my sister. I have to admit that I really didn’t want to because it was freezing with a capital “F”! But I was thankful for all of the things Nina does for me and she loves to play in the snow. She’d stay out there all day if she could, and I didn’t want her to be lonely.

I’m grateful that we’ve had TWO SNOW DAYS over the last four days! Tomorrow is the last day of school before break, and I’m looking forward to that. I’m really excited to give my family the gifts I got them too.

Remember that if you’ve been working to make a difference this month, just let me know by leaving me a comment or sending me an email at twentyfivedays@gmail.com. I will announce the winner who made the most difference on Christmas night, and I’ll be spending some time in the new year doing service work for their favorite charity.


December 17 and 18, 2008


Yesterday I was thankful for everyone that helps someone in need because I donated some money to my homeroom teacher’s drive for someone in need. She said that she is going to take the money that she gets and she is going to buy everyone in the family a gift. I have only seen about 1 dollar bill in the bin. I wanted to help because I think that everyone should have some sort of gift for the holidays because it is one of the most important times of the year.

Today, I am thankful for my sister so when I was at my mom’s friends house, I asked if my sister wanted to get a snack with me because I know that it’s akward to get up and get snacks when we are at someone else’s house.

December 13, 14, 15 2008


This Saturday, I was thankful for my mom. I was (and always are) thankful for her care and her devotion to being a great mom. She is always helpful, even when she isn’t feeling well or has a lot on her mind. I have always liked how she listens to me, even when I drone on and on and on about a topic that isn’t so interesting (everyone has to admit that sometimes you might not be the most interesting person to listen to). So this Saturday, my mom wasn’t feeling well, so I did a lot of house work and helped  tried to  keep my sister busy and out of her hair.

On Sunday, I bought a gift for the giving tree at church. I was (again, and always am) thankful for my church and what they do to help our community.

Today, I am thankful for everyone who helps someone, I don”t think that who you help is that big of a deal as long as you help someone. So, wile I was on Club Penguin, I found a box that said “donations” on it, so I clicked on it. It gave me directions to click on the type of less fortunate kid I wanted to help, so I clicked on one and it asked me how much (digital) money I wanted to spend. So, I picked $250.00 because that was the most that I could spend and I  had $500.00. I think that the site turned it into real money but they wanted everyone to be able to donate. So I thought that it was really cool!

December 11, and 12 2008

Laura: Today I’m thankful for my homeroom teacher because I caught her making a difference for a family in need. Today, my homeroom teacher started a change drive for my team. She told us that if we have any loose change then it would be really cool if we donated it.

I’m really happy about this because she just started today and she already raised $6.00!

I am also thankful for my mom, so I helped her clean-up around the house. I cleared the counter, mopped, swept and I vaccumed.

Yesterday I was thankful for all that I have. I am especailly thankful that I have enough food, heat and that I am well dressed. So, yesterday I donated food to my school’s food drive.

Nina was grateful that Aunt Joanie came for dinner. We ordered Chinese food and she baked cookies with my mom all night! It was fun!

Sharing What I Learned About Greyhounds

Today in my English class, we were asked to write an editorial. I decided to write my editorial about greyhounds and the Buffalo Greyhound Adoption group, because I was really moved after interviewing Michelle Moore last weekend.

I thought it was really great to share what I knew about greyhounds with my friends. I liked raising some awareness of dog racing, and I especially like that Emily left me a comment yesterday about how some states have outlawed this.

I’m grateful that I had the chance to talk with my friends about this.

Nina is grateful for her teachers today. They help her learn and Mrs. Morath is the best!

Learning About the Buffalo Greyhound Adoption Group!


Laura: Yesterday I interviewed a few people from the Buffalo Greyhound Adoption Association. The purpose of the BGA is to find forever homes for race dogs called greyhounds. People race these dogs for money and it used to be that when the dogs couldn’t race anymore, they would be killed. Organizations like the BGA  adopt the dogs and try to find homes for them.

They get dogs from tracks in states like Arizona, Massachusets, West Virgina and less often, Florida. The group dosen’t usually get the dogs from Florida because it’s a really long, hot trip for the dogs.

When the dogs come to our area, a volunteer has the dogs come to their house until someone decides to adopt them. When someone decides that they’d like to adopt a greyhound from the group, a representative does a home visit for about an hour and a half. They come to educate the family about greyhounds and answer questions. Some people change their minds and some proceed.

Michelle Moore, the woman I interviewed, says that the best thing about being a volunteer is that she gets to see racer dogs become pets. Dogs who come from places with just cement and metal get used to things like stairs and grass and glass doors. Many of these dogs are timid at first. Some stay that way.

Some other things that are cool about Grayhounds, is that their nickname is the 40 Mile Per Hour Crunch Potato.  Even though it’s fun to watch how the dogs run and build up their speed to about 40 to 42 miles per hour, I think it’s unfair and cruel to race these dogs like this, and I personally wish people would stop.

Yesterday I was thankful for all of the people who help these dogs, and I made a donation to the BGA as a result! Please think about helping this group too.

Nina is thankful for the snow. She likes to play in it every chance she gets! She knows she’s lucky to live in a place with four seasons too.


Mr. Richardson, for writing about what I do here  and other kids like me and the teachers who help them. I’m sorry my map reset yesterday! It archives once a year, and yesterday was my anniversary. Because of everyone’s help and the support they give me, I think I’m going to be speaking at the World Games and Special Olympics this year. I’m really excited about this and just starting to learn more. I’m grateful for the people who notice my hard work and the principals, teachers and kids who do even more than I do.

Today, I helped my friend Sarah. She is in my writing camp, and she did a drive for the International Institute, asking all of us to donate personal hygiene items like soap and shampoo and lotion to their refugee program. I collected these things and will be delivering them for her, because she lives really far away. I’m also donating a lot of things myself. I will also be donating clothes to the Depew Middle School clothing drive for Compass House.

Nina is grateful for our dad. He gets up early to take her to practice and got real cold outside today putting up our Christmas lights. What are you grateful for today?

December 5, 2008


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.



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

December 4, 2008

Today I am really thankful for Mrs. Wolf, my student council advisor. She is helping us run a hats, mittens, and scarves drive at my school. Today I stayed after school to make posters, and she let us put them up wherever we wanted to.

I am also really thankful for Mr. Kuhn, my band teacher, who helped us all get ready for our concert tonight. It was my first middle school concert, and I really enjoyed it. Mr. Kuhn works so hard! All my teachers do!


I am thankful for my teachers today too! Mrs. Morath is my teacher. She was Laura’s teacher too. She is awesome!


We are really excited that lots of other kids are making a difference and we are going to blog about them tomorrow! Right now our mom says we have to go to sleep because it is very late though!

December 3, 2008


Did you know that The Friends of the Night People have served 44,628 meals through September 30, 2008? It’s amazing.

In 1969, The Friends of the Night Club started and it has grown very much since then. The Friends of the Night Club helps with several things, including dinner, health care, free clothes and legal asstance for those in need. They are also open 325 days a year. 

210 voulenteers are needed each month for preparing, cooking and serving food to help them serve food you need to be 16 or older. But, if you don’t have time to volunteer or are too young, you could always have a can drive, host a fundraiser or donate online.

Today, I am thankful for the people who voulenteer and donate to the Friends of the Night Club, like my Grandma Stockman. So, I did reasearch and will be calling there tomorrow to see more on how I can help.


I am really grateful for my hockey coaches because they help me learn a great sport! I am also grateful for my pets. I fed them and got them both clean water today and played with them. I know lots of kids that take good care of their pets!—Nina

December 2, 2008

Laura: Today I’m grateful for all of my friends and their families who help the less fortunate in taking part in the canned food drive at my school. Today, I wrote an article in newspaper to help spread the word about my school’s food drive.

I’m also thankful for Ms.Gray, who is volunteering to make a difference for a charity that I like. Read her REALLY cool blogpost here. Thank you Ms. Gray!

Nina: Today I am thankful for my daddy teaching my religion class. Today at religion, I helped him get all the materials ready to make Advent wreaths with all of the kids in my class.

Tomorrow, we are going to be blogging about a special group called Friends of the Night People. They were a favorite charity of our Grandma Stockman’s. Our Grandma Stockman passed away one month after my Grandpa Stockman did, which was a big shock for all of us. We plan to spend a lot of the next year doing our service work in memory of her. But we’ll write more about that tomorrow!

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.

It Doesn’t Matter if You’re 6 or 26 or 106



Yesterday, I went over to Mr.Fisher and Mrs. Fisher’s house to make a video for Edutopia’s Digital Youth Project. This is a project that the George Lucas Foundation is starting. For the video, I had to include what I’ve learned throught blogging, what I do outside of school and what my blog is about.

If you didn’t wacth the video above, I said that the things that I learned through my blog is that I can reach many people with the same intersts through blogging, and it doesn’t matter how old you are online, as long as you work hard, people will support you and take you seriously. I didn’t mention this in the video, but I realized that there are lots of other kids out there that are working hard to make a difference just like me.

Some of the kids go to Depew Middle School. Right now, my mom and her friend (who is a teacher there), Mrs.VanEtten, are helping students update thier classroom blog Grade 7 Gives Back. There they talk about a reasearch project that they are doing where every kid will be studying how to make a difference in ways that matter to them. They also tell you how their class makes a difference. Some of the kids there are doing a clothing drive for Compass House! YAY!!

I want to thank Mr. Fisher for helping with an AWESOME video and all of Mrs. VanEtten’s students for working so hard over the last few weeks! I’m excited to see all that they do!!

Thank You to Compass House and Sylvia Nadler!

On Saturday night, my family and I were invited to the annual Compass House Dinner and Auction. It was held at a really nice restaurant called Harry’s. There were a ton of people there, and everyone was dressed up. It was a lot of fun and a very special night.

Compass House is an organization that I have really enjoyed learning more about and supporting all year long. Sylvia Nadler and Michelle Moore and all of the people there have been really welcoming to me. In fact, they have been THE MOST AWESOME people I’ve been able to get to know this year though my service project. They always are thinking of me and letting me help in ways that are good for kids.

Compass House is a place where kids and young adults can go if they are in trouble. Some of the people who go there are runaways. Others are homeless. There are also kids who go there because their parents have abandoned them.

Sylvia Nadler has a lot of great people working for her, and I heard some great stories about Compass House at this dinner. What I like most about it is that they don’t tell kids what to do or make decisions for them. They just care for them and help them make good choices.

If you are ever in trouble and need somewhere to go that is safe, go to Compass House. You can get on any Metro Bus or go into any Tops and tell them that you need to get to a Safe Place. They will provide you transportation to Compass House, and you will be happy. I know people there, and I promise they are really nice.

One thing that would be really nice is if teachers would invite Sylvia Nadler or her staff to talk with kids about Compass House. There are a lot of kids who are living in bad situations at home, who try to run away, and who wind up on the streets. Even kids in really good neighborhoods. It would be nice if people from Compass House could come and tell kids how to stay safe by coming to stay with them. Please let me know if you’d like to do this or contact Sylvia Nadler.

Thank you for a great night Ms. Nadler!!!! I had fun!!!!

Thank You Depew Middle School!


Yesterday, I presented to five different classes of seventh graders. At first, I was really nervous but as I kept going, I got better and warmed up to the students. I learned SO MUCH. After the first class I taught, I thought about how to make my teaching better. My mom and Mrs. VanEtten said that all good teachers do this every day. I really enjoyed teaching, but at the end of the day I was exhausted! I didn’t know until now how much work teaching is!

Mrs. VanEtten’s students are starting a research project. They are going to research ways to make a difference and then blog about it on their classroom blog. I think that this would be really fun to do, especially because lots of the kids are really interested in helping out and making the world a better place. They shared a lot of great ideas with me, and many of them have already done great service work. It was really inspiring for me to listen to them share the sorts of things they are doing or want to do.

I planned an activity where we all brainstormed what it meant to be a good citizen. Then, we talked about what a good digital citizen is. When we first started that activity, I showed this movie, which is funny. It told us how to stay safe on the internet, which is good, but I wanted to talk about digital citizenship, which is different. Everyone was telling me what NOT to do online, but then I encouraged them to tell me what we CAN do to be a good digital citizen. We know we SHOULDN’T spread rumors about people online in chatrooms or post personal information about ourselves, but do we ever think about what we SHOULD do?

Yesterday, I shared my idea that when we create safe places online where kids can learn together and accomplish things, we make the internet a better place. Mrs. VanEtten’s seventh graders were great to work with because they understand this and they are going to start trying too. They will blogging as they do their research paper. I used this Common Craft video to begin talking about blogging, and I got to share what I”m doing here too. I’m making some new friends there, and this is great.  Please visit their blog and leave them some comments if you haven’t already!