This year Make a Difference Day will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on October 26th. Sponsored by USA Weekend Magazine and the Points of Light Organization, Make a Difference Day is the largest national day of community service and involves millions of volunteers all over the world with one mission – improving the lives of others.
One of the best ways to celebrate this day of service is to get your teenagers and their friends involved in a project that helps others in their community. Today’s teenagers can easily feel disconnected from their families, their communities, and even their friends. Volunteering and engaging in community service activities is one of the best ways to help teens reconnect with their parents, siblings, extended families, and greater communities. Encourage your teenager to pick a project that has meaning to them and support their contributions by being an active member of their team.
In addition to helping teens feel connected to the world around them, community service provides a wealth of other benefits to everyone who participates. Here are some of the other benefits your teen, your family, and your community can get by participating in Make a Difference Day.
1. Helping Others Feels Good
There is a certain feeling of pride and satisfaction that most people get just from doing something nice for another person. In our busy world it can be easy to lose sight of how much it feeds our souls to do kind acts for others.
2. Helping Builds Lasting Bonds
Uniting with others to do something good for your community strengthens existing bonds between family members and friends and creates new bonds throughout the community. What better way to cure the disconnectedness than by creating new bonds throughout the community.
3. Helping Builds Better Communities
There was a time in our history where entire communities would gather together to help one member build a new barn, but these times are almost forgotten. Today, many of us barely know our neighbors and have few connections within our community. But strong communities are what help keep crime rates low and make the places we live places we want to live.
4. Helping Instills Responsibility
Picking a project, gathering a team, and following through are all things that help teach teens responsibility. Making a commitment and then following through are things everyone, including our teens, can benefit from.
5. Helping Others is Empowering
In our hyperactive world it is hard for many teens to feel that what they do makes a difference. Participating in community service projects combats that feeling and shows teenagers that one person can make a difference in the lives of many others. This sense of empowerment can have a lasting impact across all areas of their lives.
Taking part in Make a Difference Day is easy. Visit the Make a Difference Day website for ideas on how to get involved, to register your project, and for more information about how making a difference in someone else’s life can also make a big difference in yours.