Make a Difference

National Make a Difference Day, observed every fall, presents an opportunity for people to contribute their efforts toward creating a brighter future. Beginning in September, I began posting “small kind gestures” that I found in the community. My first Facebook post featured a fresh basket of sun-ripened tomatoes near a homeowner’s mailbox. The sign said, “Tomatos, picked Sat. Sept. 9. Take as many as you like.” 

The gesture might appear small, but I walked away smiling and later filled bags of canned goods for the food pantry. Kind gestures have a snowball effect. When someone holds the door open for me, I want to return the gesture. If I brake to let a pedestrian cross, I’m sure to get a friendly wave back.

Once I started looking for kind gestures, they popped up. The second photo I posted is of a cute wooden box near a neighbor’s mailbox. It said, “To my furry friends. Have a snack if you like.” I opened it and gave my dog a treat. She wagged her tail appreciatively, and we resumed our walk with an extra bounce in our steps.

We can do no great things—only small things with great love. Mother Teresa

Returning home, my dog on my lap, I took a closer look at the Sauk County Humane Society’s newsletter. There’s an entire page showing how kids and the community donate their time and money. The most touching came from a girl named Emma who, with her friends’ help, raised $85 by selling lemonade. Another girl, Aca, held a fundraiser where she sold homemade bracelets. She raised $1,000 for homeless animals. I’m guessing their gestures alerted people to the humane society’s needs and they might have even checked out their wish list, which specifies things like bleach, garbage bags, and copy paper.

I didn’t take a photo of a third act of kindness gesture I witnessed, but I remember it well. I took my daughter out for coffee at Bella Goose in the Dells. There was a delay with my card and the woman behind us had to wait, so my daughter handed the clerk money to pay for the woman’s coffee. The woman and my daughter visited and discovered they were high school basketball buddies. They enjoyed an unexpected reunion.

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. Author Sally Koch

My next post is of 8 high school students who had spent their afternoon picking up litter. My husband and I, along with two other Kiwanians, worked alongside these impressive young people who are part of Key Club, the high school version of Kiwanis. While we filled our garbage bags, we chatted, enjoying seeing their willingness to work, their dedication, and learning about their visions for the future. It was a great way to celebrate National Make a Difference Day and gave us hope for our country.

Sponsoring Key Club is a priority for our service group. Our next Kiwanis meeting is at Lake Delton’s Pizza Pub on November 13 at 5:30. Join us and learn about this organization that also provides Christmas food and fruit baskets, books for children, and scholarships for high school students. 

We might feel some of our gestures are only small drops in an ocean, but let’s remember Mother Teresa’s words. The ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

5 Replies to “Make a Difference”

Small opportunities surround us every day. Lovely post, Amy.


Yes, they do, Sue. Thanks for reading.

Nice one, Amy! I’m sure it made a lot of people think about more ways, however small, that they can make a difference.

Debbie Gille

Inspiring words. We could all come up with some way to make a difference in the life of a neighbor, family member, local organization, even someone we don’t know.
This has inspired me to think outside the box!!

I spent some time this morning strolling around Ho-chunk effigy mounds and thinking about Marion. In her quiet way, she had a huge impact.

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