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This Month’s Wrap Up

This month I have been making a difference by raising money for COTA and Ski4E, organizations that work to help children in need of liver transplants. Sadly though, it is the 31st and so it is time to wrap things up. I am going to move on and help support The Pajama Program, Project Linus and Project Snuggle in February. I am excited about doing this, but I really am sad that January is over.

This month I raised money for Ski4E, who is helping Piper Walnicki, a baby from our area who is about a year old. Piper needs a liver transplant. In fact, we received an email this week that stressed how hard Piper is fighting for her own little life right now. I would like to encourage everyone who reads this, one more time, to take part in helping out Ski4E as well! Kids like Piper really do all of our support.

So this month I raised money by collecting Dash’s Markets receipts and bottles. I also made some money by going on penny hunts at my house. I want to give a big thank you to the Valenzuelas, the Marchiole family, and Mrs. Valenti for helping my mom out by collecting all of the money during last week’s dress down day at Erie 1 Boces. With all of these people participating, I raised a total of $538.54!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In just three weeks!!!!!! I will be sending a money order to COTA as well as all of the receipts in the next few days! If you look at my sidebar, you will see who my biggest donors and supporters have been this month!







Support the Sharing Foundation and Win a Prize!

We had the day off from school today because we are having a huge wind storm! The wind gusts are over 80 mph! We lost our power early this morning, and so we went over to our friend Kristen’s house, where we spent the morning stamping Valentine’s Day cards. I made a whole bunch of these using Stampin’ Up products, which are really nice.


Since today is the last day of the America’s Giving Challenge, I’ve decided to hold a giveaway contest because I am really hoping that the Sharing Foundation will win. You can read more about all of this here. The Sharing Foundation will be using this prize to serve orphaned children who live in Cambodia.

I would like to encourage everyone to make a tiny $10.00 at this site to support the Sharing Foundation within the next 24 hours! If you are able to do this, please leave a comment here for me! Everyone who donates will be entered into a drawing, and if you win, I will send you five of the handmade Valentine’s Day cards that I made this morning. They are blank and very nicely made, so you can give them to your friends and people you love. They also come with envelopes too. Here are the kinds you will be able to pick from:





Please consider helping the Sharing Foundation by making a small $10 donation today! And make sure you come back tomorrow! I will be announcing the total amount raised for Ski4E this month and discussing other giveaways which will continue tomorrow and over the next two weeks!

Very Much to Say Today!!!!! :)

Today is an exciting day!! I have a lot of people to thank, and I will be announcing the winners of this month’s contest! For the last twenty five days, I have been supporting Ski4E and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. Many people have donated Dash’s register tapes, bottles, and change to my efforts. Erie 1 BOCES even had a dress down day today to help raise funds too! Tonight, I will be announcing this month’s winners. These are people who did the most to make a difference this month along with me. They are each winning iTunes gift cards!

First I would like to give a HUGE thank you to my mom and everyone at Erie 1 BOCES for supporting Ski4E by holding a dress down day today. They raised $125.00 for Ski4E just with one dress down day! 

 Second, I want to get a BIG drumroll for this months winners!!! They are…..

Kristen, Carmen and Maddie Marchiole!! Kristen, Carmen and Maddie made a GINORMOUS difference this month by giving me TONS of bottles to recycle! They donated about $40.00 in bottles! THANK YOU!!! You are getting a gift card AND you are being named as donors along with me when I make my donation to Ski4E and COTA next week.

The Valenzuelas have also won!! They made a HUGE difference this month too! They donated about $25.00 worth of bottles and some register tapes too!! THANK YOU!!They will also be getting a $15.00 iTunes gift card and they will also be named as donors when I make my donation to Ski4E!

Now that my first twenty five day challenge of 2008 is over, you might be wondering what I will be doing with this last week of the month! Well, I am going to be improving my blog and I WOULD LIKE YOU TO HELP ME! I would like all kinds of advice about how I might improve my pages, my sidebar….everything! My dad thinks my site has too many words, and I agree. I also want to make my blog easier for people to use so that they will support my causes more.

I have a goal for next month! It is to get more readers and more support! Do you have advice for how I can do this?

I am also really really eager to do a classroom challenge again! Any ideas for how I might be able to get classes from all over involved in supporting my causes for next month? They are THE PAJAMA PROGRAM, PROJECT LINUS, and PROJECT SNUGGLE. I will be writing more about these causes during this week.

This month, I gave away iTunes cards. Was this a good idea or do you think more people might participate if I went back to doing a charitable donation like I did in December? Or should I do something else to encourage participation?

Please leave a comment or send me an email with any or all of your ideas!!!!

Prizes Prizes Prizes!!!!

At the end of this month, I will be giving away two $15.00 iTunes gift cards to the two people or groups who have helped me make the most difference for Ski4E and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association this month. In addition to this, I will be naming these people as donors along with me when I make my personal donation to this organization this month!

I hope that this will inspire lots of you to donate to their fund directly, or donate Dash’s receipts or recyclable bottles to me! You can also hold a dress down day in your office if you want, like Erie 1 BOCES is!

Please remember to email me or leave a comment if I am not aware of what you have done to help Ski4E or COTA this month! Everyone who has helped is listed on my participants page.

I will be blogging about Ski4E until January 25th and collecting register tapes, bottles, and donations until February 1st! I plan to spend the last week of this month getting ready to help several new causes in February and improving my blog. I will be looking for lots of feedback about how to make it better. My dad has some great ideas, and I want to know what you think I could be doing here too.

The Serving Kids Award


The Serving Kids Award was designed by me. I used Microsoft Paint to make it. I’m just learning to use it so I don’t really get fancy like Lynn Anne Cutler can. Each month I am going to give the Serving Kids Award  to 3 bloggers. Bloggers can win this award by doing 1 of 2 things :

  • The blogger can be a kid who is serving others  or the world.
  • The blogger can be an adult who is serving kids.

 I would like to give my badge to 3 people that serve kids by blogging. These people are…

NINA! My little sister who is writing stories about making a difference. She writes one page per day on her blog!!!

COCO! Coco made a blog about making a difference for a specail kid who live in poverty.

Mr.Pullen and his STUDENTS! Mr.Pullen inspired his students to make a blog about making a difference called Heart to Heart.

I would really like it if these people could:

  1. Put the badge on their blogs
  2. Pass the badge on to 3 other bloggers who deserve it! They can be adults whose blogs or work serve kids….or kids whose blogs or work serve others or the world!

You can get the HTML code HERE to make this badge clickable!

Have fun!

Caught Making a Difference: Mrs. Toney and Nina!

Today, Mrs. Toney came over and dropped off a lot of Dash’s register tapes! We have almost FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS in register tapes now. This is really amazing. Tomorrow, I am going to be talking to the manager at Dash’s again. He said I might be able to spend some time collecting register tapes for Ski4E there. I hope I can, but I know that this isn’t usually something they let people do.

I would like to invite everyone to stop at a new blog that is really fun! My little sister, Nina, decided that she would like to start a blog. Nina is A REALLY AWESOME story writer. She writes constantly. She loves to make blank books out of paper. She staples up the sides to bind them, and then she writes and illustrates stories that our whole family loves. I’m not kidding when I say that she has at least 30 or 40 really long books that she wrote since summer time. There is a whole stack of them in her room. She writes and illustrates every single day. Santa even brought her paper, a stapler, and all new crayons and markers for her writing.

Writing stories is a gift that Nina gives our family. She makes a difference to us this way, and now she will make a difference by telling her stories on her own blog, a little bit at a time. I hope you will visit and say hello to her! Nina can’t type really well yet because she is only 7. So, she is doing just a little bit at a time. But I think this is really cool.

Erie 1 BOCES to Support Ski4E and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association

Great news! On January 25th, the last day of this month-long drive to support Ski4E and COTA, Erie 1 BOCES will be sponsoring a dress-down day to help raise funds to support this organization! More news to come………but I wanted to thank everyone who is helping my mom organize this at Erie 1 BOCES, especially Candace Reimer, Mrs. Valenti, and Kristen!

Caught Making a Difference: Mr. Pullen’s Class!!

This is the sort of thing that I am really hoping other classes and schools and kids will do!

Today, I received a really exciting email message from Mr. Pullen, who is a third grade teacher! This is a part of it:

Hey Laura — I left a comment on your blog a few days ago saying that I hoped my school could learn from your work.  Well, I decided to take it upon myself to make it happen.  Here’s the result:
Heart to Heart 2008
We have an annual charity drive at my school anyway, but a lot of the students don’t really get into it or understand what’s going on, so we’re going to try a blog to publicize it better and get the students more aware of why we are trying to raise money.
Gratefully yours,
Mark Pullen (3rd grade teacher, East Grand Rapids, MI)

I hope that lots of you will visit Mr. Pullen’s website and encourage his students! I am adding their class blog and Mr. Pullen’s blog (Elementary Educator) to my blogroll too. Does anyone else have a website that they are using with students? Are you a kid who is trying to make a difference too in some way? Maybe you know someone else who you can recommend to me? If you know of someone who is using technology to make a difference, please let me know! I will link to them, and we can all get to know each other better.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church Makes a Difference!

My Card From My Aunt Barb’s Religious Education Students at OLPH
Today in the mail I received a letter and a $25.00 honorarium check from my Aunt Barb’s religious education class at OLPH in Lakeview (my Grandparent’s church). Recently, I went to mass at OLPH, and I went to religion there to speak to my aunt’s class about this project. My aunt said that after I left they talked a lot about service projects and the causes that I am trying to help this year. They are planning to help me support one of my causes later this year. I really think that that is great! I think that they were kind too! I have decided to donate this check to Ski4E, which is my cause of the month.
   I have been collecting bottles to raise money for Ski4E and COTA during the last few weeks. I raised $95.00 in bottle returns. Thank you to everyone who donates regularly! Today, Mr. Jung gave me some bottles. My classmates, neighbors, and friends have also raised over $4000.00 in Dash’s register tapes. Ski4E will receive over $200 from this! But I would really like to raise more money this month!
And there are only NINE DAYS LEFT TO DO IT IN!!
Please save your bottles for me! I will be collecting bottles with my parents. If you call or if you e-mail me, we will drive to YOUR house to pick them up. You can also leave them on my porch.
I am also collecting Dash’s register tapes as well. You can give these to me or my parents, or call us. We will come and pick these up as well!
Please remember that I will be giving PRIZES to those people who make the most difference for COTA and Ski4E in January. If you have made a donation at their site or to them directly, please remember to let me know! This way, you will be in the running to win!

The Blogger’s Choice Awards

Mr. Carr recently nominated me for a Best Charity Blog Blogger’s Choice Award. At first, I didn’t really think that my blog would get any votes, because I am a kid. I also didn’t want to ask people to vote for me because it felt kind of like I was bragging. But now I am fourth from the top of the list, and I am noticing that more people are coming to read my site because I am close to the top.

My mom explained that it was great for Mr. Carr to  nominate me because it is helping more people read my site and more readers means more support for the causes I am helping. The more votes that my blog gets, the more readers visit my site, and the more chances they will help support the causes I’ve decided to focus on here.

One way that you could really help me without spending any money at all would be to go to the Blogger’s Choice site, register, and then vote for my blog. Registration is free and very fast. My parents both did this, and they haven’t gotten any junk email or anything from doing this. I can’t vote for myself because I am too young though. 

You can vote for me by clicking on that little box over there on the top right of this page. Or you can just go here. I really appreciate this very much! I would also like to ask you to vote for Mr. Carr too!

A Teacher Who Needs Ideas and an Update on Fundraising for COTA

Yesterday, I got an email message from a teacher who is doing skits about making a difference for our country and our world. She wanted me to ask if my readers have any ideas for her. She is working with fifth and sixth graders to create skits about making a difference for your country, and she is working with seventh and eighth graders to create skits about making a difference in the world. She already has skit ideas for helping the environment.

I know that there are other teachers and writers and all sorts of creative people who read my blog, so I wanted to ask you! What skit ideas do you have for this teacher? Please leave your ideas in the comments section! Thank you!!!


Today, I want to thank KRISTEN AND CARMEN AND MADDIE for donating TONS of bottles to my bottle drive! I raised over thirty dollars for Ski4E in bottle returns today! That means I have raised almost $100 total. I have set a pretty high goal for fundraising this month, so please please let me know if you have any bottles! I am working with the nice people at Consumer’s Beverages to return my bottles. They gave me lots of bags to pack my bottles into and gave me good ideas for keeping them organized!

Also, my classmates, neighbors, and friends have been helping me collect Dash’s register tapes, because the Children’s Organ Transplant will receive 5% back from the total dollar amount. So far, we have collected $3,992.00 in register tapes! I went to Dash’s today and spoke to a manager about spending some time there next week collecting register tapes from shoppers who are leaving the store. I also had an idea that maybe we could put register tape donation boxes at the ends of the registers for aday or two. The manager promised me he would speak to Mr. Dash about this! I am hoping that he will say it is okay, because I know I could help COTA even more if I was able to do this. He said they usually “frown on this” though, so I am not getting my hopes up. I understand why. He was really nice to me though.

Guest Blogger: Nina!

Today  I am filling in for Laura because she is still at a sleep over. I am Nina, Laura’s little sister. Did you know that even very little kids can make a difference too? I get an allowance each week of $3. I asked my mom and my dad if I could help make a difference by donating half of my allowance to Ski4E. That is $1.50. I also returned bottles with my mom yesterday to help Laura! Someone left them on our porch. We aren’t sure who! But thank you! I returned them and added $5.60 to the Ski4E jar!

I like blogging, but it is hard because I can’t type well yet. But sometimes, I like to do this! Laura lets me any time I want. I like being a guest blogger for her.

More Online Communities!!!

Recently, my mom and I learned about an online community called Razoo. On Razoo you can meet other people who are interested in doing good things and making a difference. There are a lot of ideas for anyone who is looking for large or even very small service projects. I haven’t been on it much today, but my mom and I already made up a whole page on it.  I am hoping that some of the people who are on Razoo will visit me here too! You could go there  too to get ideas and join my community–or someone else’s!

There are 15 days left to raise money for Ski4e and the Childrens Organ Transplant Association. I have set a fundraising goal, and I really want to reach it. I am going to spend part of my weekend picking up bottles and Dash’s receipts. Please e-mail or leave me a comment here if you have some! We will swing past your house to grab them.

Please let me know if you have made a donation to Ski4E/COTA! Remember that I am keeping track of everyone who makes a difference for them this month, and I will be awarding prizes.


A Little Something About Online Communities


Today, I found out that there are some women who write online about social justice. They encourage other grown ups to write about social justice in their blogs too, and they recognize them by giving them Just Post awards. They gave me one today! This made me really happy!

I am very interested in building up an online community of kids who like to blog about good things, just like these grown ups do. I have just begun learning about online communities. I’m learning how using my blog to support a charity is an easy way to get a lot of people involved. I’d like to know if there are other kids who are doing this too. I know that Coco has started a blog about making a difference. Who else might be doing something like this? If you have or you start a blog like this, I will link to you, and we can start to work together to do good things and write about them!

An online community kind of like when people start writing on the internet about one topic and are interested about the same thing. I think that it would be really cool to build an online community about Making A Difference. Other kids can make the world better by blogging because they can let the world see how they are making a difference and encourage other people to do the same thing or support a cause. If lots of kids did this, we could create a lot of good in the world.

I have learned that blogging for a cause can make a big difference, and it’s not hard. Blogging gets the word out fast!

Lots of Good News and Thank Yous

I want to start with some BIG news! In December, I wrote about the great people who work in my school cafeteria. Their recipe for Macho Nachos was a finalist in a competition, and I asked everyone who read my site to vote for them. The Grand Prize was a kitchen renovation. AND TODAY WE FOUND OUT THAT THEY WON!!!!! I know that some of you voted for Macho Nachos, and I want to say THANK YOU FOR VOTING!!!

But there is more good news! Mr.Jones  was named Teacher of the Month at the school he works at. Mr.Jones’s classes participated in my classroom challenge and won!!! I think he deserved this prize!

Also, did you know that baby Piper Walniki has her own website? On the site, she has a guest book and you can leave her good wishes!!! Please think about visiting her website, and leaving a comment for her and her family. You could also make a donation there if you wanted to!

Finally, I want to thank a few people. First, I would like to give a thank you to Mrs. Waggoner for volunteering to bring her bottles to my house. She is one of my favorite teachers!!! I also want to thank Uncle Mike and Aunt Joanie for also donating bottles too. THANK YOU!!! 

So far, we’ve had bottles to return every day! And I am going to be picking up more from people’s houses this weekend. Please let me know if you have bottles that we can return! And we are still collecting Dash’s register tapes as well.

Remember to help me support Ski4E and COTA this month!