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Caught Making a Difference: Lindbergh Students

lauradash.jpgninadash.jpgThe first thing I want to say is thank you to all of my classmates at Lindbergh Elementary! Everyone is bringing in all of their Dash’s receipts to support Ski4e. The bowl in the picture is the biggest bowl in my house! It is overflowing with receipts! I think that this is awesome! I WILL BE COLLECTING THESE ALL THROUH THE MONTH!!!!! SO PLEASE KEEP GIVING THEM TO ME!!!

Right now as I am writing this, my mom is almost finished tallying up the total dollar amount of all the receipts. Mrs. Phillips thank you so much for that big bag! That really means a lot to me!

Dash’s Markets will donate 5% of the total dollar amount we all collect this month to Ski4E! And the total amount for just today was:

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$3351.55!!!! So far, we have raised $167.57 through receipts alone!

I hope I figured this out right!

I also caught another person making a difference today. She really makes my world a better place and means a TON to me.  It is…………. MY LITTLE SISTER, NINA! She is always willing to help me when I am feeling sad and is always helping me do jobs.  Like today when I went on a penny hunt for Ski4E, she helped and found all of the coins. Also, she put her lunch change in the bucket (she could’ve spent it on a slushie or cookies).  Nina got Silly Scented markers for Christmas. Crayola makes them and they smell really stinky. They are called “Scary Movie” and “Voodoo Vapor” and they smell gross. Nina makes up funny games with them, and she lets me use them all the time too. She always shares with me, and that is cool. She makes a big difference to me, and I’m not just saying that.

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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How I Made a Difference on December 24th: A Christmas Eve Prayer

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 My Grandpa Stockman believed in praying for others and especially for people who he knew others were not thinking of. The way that I am going to make a difference today is by remembering people like this and keeping them close in my heart. I would like everyone who is reading my blog to try to do the same.

One way that you can remember the less fortunate at Christmastime is by lighting a candle in your home. My family is going to put one in our kitchen window today. But did you know that you can also light candles on the web? I would like to invite all of you who are reading to do the same at this page on the Gratefulness website. If you visit this page, you will see that I have lit a candle in memory of the less fortunate, who may be lonely or sad today. The name of our group is TFD for Twenty Five Days. It would be wonderful to see a lot of candles lit here in the next few days.

Although we know that not everyone does this, my family remembers people by praying for them, just like my Grandpa did. So this morning, my daddy and Nina and I worked together to brainstorm and write a Christmas Eve prayer that we will say at dinner tonight. I’ve written it below so that you can see it and say it too, if you would like.

We wish everyone who celebrates a Merry Christmas! Tomorrow, we will be announcing the winners of our contests, so please make sure to stop by again. ALSO!! PLEASE BE SURE TO LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING US ABOUT SOMETHING THAT YOU DID TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON THAT MADE YOU FEEL VERY HAPPY!! You can read my post from yesterday about this, or you can leave a comment here!

Dear Lord, On this Christmas Eve, we are thankful for the many blessings you have given us.  We are especially thankful for our families and friends, and the love and kindness we share with one another. We ask that you help us share that love and kindness with those who are alone, those who lack love in their hearts and lives, those who live in fear and despair, and those who live without faith and charity. We ask that you bless us all with your grace, and fill our hearts with peace and true love toward all your creation, as you showed us when you gave us the gift of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

How I Made a Difference on December 23,2007

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Today I made a difference by putting together some old clothes, new toys and boots to donate to the St. Vincet de Paul society. Click here to see the link. My church encourages people to donate to St. Vincent de Paul all year long. They even have a clothing bin box behind the school. Tomorrow, my dad will help me out by taking me there to drop off all of our things! My church works all year long to collect and donate food to their pantry, too. It is a very special organization, and I imagine that at this time of year, they need as many donations as they can get!
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Christmas Eve Commenting!
The best thing about keeping this blog has been reading your messages to see what you have to say and what cool things you’ve been doing to make a difference. It makes me really happy, and I know that it makes others who are reading this happy too. I think it would be really fun if everyone who visits this site–whether you are a new reader or someone who has been participating since the beginning–answers the following question by leaving me a comment!
Out of all of the things that you did to make a difference for someone or something this holiday season, which one made you happiest and why?
I’m really looking forward to reading all of your answers. And remember, you do not have to be participating in my contest to take part. Just click on the comments box right under the title of today’s post to leave a message! I’m excited to see how many we might get! This will make for some fun reading on Christmas Eve!
Also, if you haven’t had a chance, please vist Lillian, Duncan, Hunter, and Drew’s blog! They did my meme! Thank you!!!! Also, you can do the Meme too… and I’ll link to your blog if you let me know (and your site is appropriate, my mom reminds me). Here are Duncan, Hunter, and Drew’s responses!
1. In your opinion, what does it mean to make a difference?

Drew: Making a difference could be something small like going and shoveling your neighbors drive way or it could be something big like donating $500 dollars to charity.
Lillian: Making a difference often starts out small and grows from there. One little thing done by just one person can have a snowball effect – or not. Sometimes it stays small but meaningful.

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

Drew: I think that a fun and unique way to make a difference is to do something as small as getting a little gift for an elderly neighbor cause even if it’s small it could make all the difference.
Lillian: I think every opportunity to do something for a specific person is a unique opportunity. There are many ways to be one person among many, but those are the general opportunities. It’s those little things that become not only unique but extra special.

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

Drew: My grandma is making a difference in my life every day by giving and helping me with so many things that I do on a daily basis.
Lillian: SO MANY people make a difference to me every day! As we’ve been doing this I’ve noticed that I could make a list each day of what other people do for me. It is very humbling. Sometimes it’s also frustrating because I want to say, “Stop! Stop helping me and let me help you!”

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

Drew: I might but I don’t think it would be anywhere near to as big as it is with the blog.
Lillian: Probably, but we wouldn’t think about it nearly as much, and we would likely be much less diligent at looking for opportunities. This has been a fun and enlightening experience!

5. What is your favorite thing about the internet?

Drew: It lets me learn things and do stuff that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. Plus I can talk to my friends on MSN.
Lillian: Two things: 1. Information. When I don’t know something I know I can find it online! It drives me nuts when our internet service is down and I can’t take a few minutes to look something up. How did we ever survive without it? 2. Relationships. I have made some of my best friendships online, and continued or renewed others that would otherwise have been lost. Email, blogs, online gaming, IM, Twitter, and Web 2.0 sites like Facebook have given me vast opportunities to build and support relationships. I think it’s wonderful.

How Miss Steinhauser Made a Difference on December 22, 2007

Miss Steinhauser is my favorite instructor at Master Khechen School of Tae Kwon-Do because she is very kind to me and is a very good role model for myself and others. Miss Steinhauser is the only woman instructor that I have at Tae Kwon-Do. When I first started Tae Kwon- Do, Miss Steinhauser had just tested for her black belt, and I was in her first class. Now I am a first bar child black belt. So I have known Miss Steinhauser for a really long time. She works really hard as an instructor at Tae Kwon-Do, every single day! I have had Miss Steinhauser for an instructor for almost six years now, and she has never lost her patience or raised her voice even once! And I take classes three days a week all year round usually! Miss Steinhauser teaches us to have good character and she practices what she preaches. I really like that.

Today Miss Steinhauser really surprised me. She gave me a gift for Christmas! It is called a bo. A bo is a weapon in Tae Kwon-Do that looks like a stick. It is sort of heavy, and it is a really special weapon. I’ve been waiting to learn how to use a bo for a really long time, but my parents said I had to wait until after Christmas for me to get one. I was really surprised by this and really, really happy!

I know that this whole blog is supposed to be about how I am making a difference. And I have done some good deeds today. For example, I cleaned our oven! And I washed down the baseboards in our house too to get ready for our party tonight. But what I really wanted to write about today was how Miss Steinhauser made a difference for ME and how grateful I am for that. It really means a lot to me, Miss Steinhauser!!!!

Thank you so much!!!!

How I Made a Difference on December 21,2007

Today I made a difference by giving Mrs. Nabozny (my teacher) a present where ten percent of the money used to purchase the gift goes to buying textbooks and supplies for schools that can’t afford them. It said Teacher’s Rule 2007 on it. I really liked it. There were different ones like some that support the troops in Iraq. Others said they supported breast cancer. But, I really liked the one that I gave my teacher. I think that one was cool.

Tomorrow we are having a big family party at my house. When I came home from school today, I did some housework to help my family. I’m going to spend tonight baking a lot of cookies too!

I’ve also decided to be a secret Santa for someone….but it’s secret! And I’m glad they don’t read my blog!