Held annually on the fourth Saturday of October, “Make a Difference Day” is sponsored by USA WEEKEND and the Hands On Network, a business unit of Points of Light Institute.
Cleveland has been participating in “Make a Difference Day” for more than 20 years, setting aside a day to “do something good for someone else.” Through the years, projects have ranged from simple acts like helping a senior citizen with lawn care, cleaning projects, installing wheelchair ramps and picking up litter, to name only a few.
Many of us could probably just “look out our front or back door” and see something that needs attention — a neighbor who could use a visit or a helping hand, or perhaps a street or lawn that needs debris removed.
The “Make a Difference Day” project offers cash rewards of up to $10,000 for those who qualify. The cash reward is provided through the Paul Newman charity called the Newman’s Own Foundation. More information about the awards can be found on the “Make a Difference Day” website or in the Cleveland Daily Banner’s USA Weekend editions.
This year, I encourage our citizens to consider doing a project. Whether it’s a Scout Troop, civic club or organization, church, Sunday School Class or individual, there is something that can be done to help someone else.
If you or an organization do plan an activity, please call my office at 423-476-8931 and let us know what you plan to do. The project needs to be done by Oct. 26. Deadline information is also on their website. After the project, call and let me know how many volunteers and how many hours were spent. My office each year provides a report to “Make a Difference Day” as to what is done here in this community. Though we have not sought awards or cash rewards, it is important to share with the world that this community has a heart for “making a difference” in others.
The stories told about “Make a Difference Day” through the years have proven that anyone, regardless of age, location or resources, can accomplish amazing things when they take on the problems they see in their community.
Cleveland is a caring community whose people and various organizations literally work year-round to “make a difference.” This one day a year just reinforces what we do all year long — find ways to make the lives of our family, friends and neighbors a little brighter.
Do something, no matter how small, on Make a Difference Day 2013. You’ll be glad you did.