“One hundred years from now, It will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, or how much money I had in the bank. But the world may be a better place because I made a difference in a child’s life.”
October 26th is National Make a Difference Day. A few hours volunteering at a local food pantry, delivering meals to the elderly, helping clean up a park, or perhaps reading to children at the public library. These are just a few of the ways people across the country will “give back” in a nationwide effort aimed at leaving the community a bit better and stronger than it was before. What better way to strengthen your community than to make a difference in the lives of our most precious and vulnerable citizens—our children.
Think back to your childhood for a moment. Who are the adults you remember – mentors, relatives, neighbors? Perhaps a teacher or a coach? How did they make a positive difference in your life? What lessons did they teach that have stayed with you for a lifetime? Could you be someone who makes a positive difference in a child’s life today?
Children are our future. Together, we can all make a lasting difference in their lives and in the life of our community. On Make a Difference Day 2013, perhaps you will consider the positive impact you might have on a child’s life.
Here are some ways you can make a difference:
1. Listen–Many children want to talk about their lives and have no responsible adults to turn to. Be a person they can turn to for honest feedback and a caring ear.
2. Share yourself and your time. Be open and available, and allow them to be open with you. Let them discuss their hopes and dreams as well as their fears and nightmares. Let your own life and actions provide a message of inspiration. Spend time with them doing things you both enjoy.
3. Be Consistent, Reliable, and Dependable–Building friendships takes time. The seeds you plant in the minds of children may take a long time to bud and flourish. Perhaps you will never see the fruit directly, but those seeds will take root eventually.
4. Believe in them. Help them identify good choices and support them when they do. Help them stand up for themselves and for what they believe in.
5. Become a CASA volunteer. At CASA of Davidson County, we recruit and train volunteers who are appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASAs) volunteers are ordinary people who make a difference every day in the lives of the children and families they serve. Case by case, child by child our CASAs give a voice to a child who had none. Learn more about how you can make a difference in the life of a child by serving as a CASA. Call Julieanna Huddle at 615-425-2383.