Take Action — Make a difference in the world!

How can one person make a difference in the world? In his or her own community? In his or her school? We know many people who are working to make positive changes in the world by taking action on something that they feel strongly about. Many of them are children.

How Anna Took Action

Anna was concerned about the labor policies in some of the factories of United States businesses in Asia. She studied the news and interviewed people about the policies. Once she knew what needed to be done she wrote a letter about her concerns and created a petition which other students signed. The petition said that the students who signed it would not buy any more products made in Asia by this particular company until specific changes were made. She then emailed the letter and petition to the company. Anna received a personalized letter from the head of Public Relations. The letter was in response to all her questions and concerns and stated that the company was reviewing their labor policies.

How Lisa Took Action

Saddened by the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, Lisa wanted to do something to help the people who had lost their homes and property. She found out that the relief effort needed money to ship supplies to the people living in the destroyed areas. Realizing she had something valuable to sell, she donated her entire collection of 100 Beanie Babies. A local church set up a silent auction and raised thousands of dollars, which was donated to the Hurricane Mitch relief effort.

How a Bay Area Runners' Club Took Action

An even simpler solution to a local problem was demonstrated by a running club. Students collected new socks, gloves and hats. These items were given out at street corners and parks to the local homeless people. Over and over again the students heard "Socks are as valuable as gold to us!" 

Your Challenge

Your challenge is to make a difference in your community or the world at large. Read the paper or brainstorm with your friends. Is there something you can do to make someone else's life a little easier? Clean up a park, adopt an acre of rain forest, raise money for a local shelter; the possibilities are endless.

You might want to locate someone in your own community who has made a positive difference and interview that person. How did he or she decide to get involved and what did they do? Sometimes it is very surprising how many heroes and heroines there are living right here among us.

The following websites can help you think of ways you can get involved and make a difference by providing you with some resources to get started. There are even some grants available to help you fund your projects.

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  • Peace Corps Kids World: Find out about the United States Peace Corps and how kids around the country are making a difference.
  • Contacting the Congress How to write to the United States Congress. Send them a letter or email making your cause known.
  • KidPub: Publishing site for student writing.
  • Yahooligans: Safe and appropriate searching for K-12 grade students.

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