How Are You Making Your Mark?

Updated on May 31, 2011
D.P. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
14 answers

I know that, as moms, we are making the world a better place by raising awesome kids, but in what other ways do you feel you are making your mark? Is there a charity you help? Somewhere you volunteer? What kinds of stuff are you doing that will "outlast" you? Need some ideas (concrete ones--big or small) for making an impact! What are your personal ways?

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answers from Norfolk on

I don't feel a particular need to make a mark.
Seriously - who's going to remember me in 100 years?
Maybe my son or my grand kids?
I work in IT and in this business anything over 2 years old is ancient history.
I'm not clever enough to create some art or write a book whose fame will outlast my lifetime.
I'm a good wife, a good mother and I've held a career for 25 years.
I putter in the garden and enjoy butterflies and toads/frogs I find in my yard.
I fly kites and still splash in puddles every once in awhile.
I've planted a few trees and lilacs.
I'm enjoying life, but nothing I do will outlast me and it doesn't bother me.

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answers from Sacramento on

-I visit a senior home w/my child especially at Christmas time.
-I donate unused clothes and toys.
-I teach my kids to be good, decent people while being safe though and not put themselves in danger (important).
-I try to buy a few items of clothing to donate to the Sleep Train that they give to orphaned children.
-Teach the Golden Rule
-I recycle, try not to contribute too much garbage.
-Rescue animals
-Help children in need whenever I see it (through church, neighbors etc).
-Cook a meal for a neighbor in the hospital (doing that one today and donating my old magazines) or a co-worker who might be going into surgery (missed this once and felt awful).
So nothing major...just a little here and there. And do I ever forget? Yes and then some story will remind me I need to be a better person. I think llife is a constant lesson in that: a work in progress kind of thing!!! I've got to keep working on it.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I don't do things to "make my mark", I just do them because I feel I should.
I'm a foster parent, and I love being able to help out kids and their families.
I help those around me as much as I can.
I try to be a good steward of the earth and of my money.
Like we say at our church every week...
"Go forth into the world and be of good courage,
Hold fast to that which is good.
Render to no person evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted,
Supporth the weak,
Help the afflicted,
Honor all people.
Love and serve God,
Rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit."

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I teach, over 150 students per year, so i hope I am making a mark with them. Aside from that, I volunteer at the Food Bank here in town, and I work with Toys for Tots every Christmas. I have also been teaching my kids that each time they get new toys (birthday/christmas, etc) they have to go through their toybox and donate used toys (the nicer ones) to shelters in town. They also give one of their new toys each Christmas to Toys for Tots. It's not much, but it is what I am able to do.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I'm comin' up with nothin' other than the Motherhood gig, sigh, sorry.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I make my mark in a way that no one ever really knows what I did or who I helped. I like the anonymity of it because I want to do something that directly helps someone without getting any sort of praise or credit.

I donate blood - double-red donation. I am not entirely sure why double-red is such a high demand but I do know that often double-reds are used for newborn babies who require surgery.

I make an appointment, I slip in quietly to the donation center, I spend about 60-90 minutes there, and I give something that is needed and could save three lives. Then, I eat about two mini packs of their free cookies and drink two juices and go about my day.

It makes me feel good to know that my simple, easy, anonymous deed might help save someone from death. I don't care who gets my blood. I just care that it is needed and used. that end, I would strongly encourage anyone on this board who is healthy enough - DONATE BLOOD! I realize that not everyone can do it and that's okay. But, by donating blood you are giving just a tiny bit of your time to people who need it the most. Depending on your blood type and physical health, you could also be eligible to donate plasma, platelets, or double-reds. It is free and doesn't cost you a thing other than your time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I don't do this to "make my mark" anywhere or with anyone, but my kids (3 and 1) and I volunteer once or twice a month at a nearby senior living facility with activities. We have a lot of fun doing it and the seniors love seeing the kids. It really makes their day.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Awesome question! Although I went to college for a BS in engineering and psychology, I went back when I was older and my son was 2 to take classes to learn spanish so that I can help the spanish speaking people in my community in any way I can. I had always wanted to learn. Whether they are illegal or not, I have met some good hispanics who need an english speaking person to help the with their green cards, spelling, computer skills, driver's license, finances, parenting advice and their kids education, etc.

Helping them learn english skills (reading, laws and citizenship) will be my way of giving them a chance to either be a productive member of this society or their own if they are illegal and are sent back home.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi D.
I do lightwork energy healing where I go into deep meditations and send positive,healing energy into the world.
I connect with the angles and ask them to go to people in need.
I also pray alot for peace in the world and on a spiritual level I fight against the dark side.
B. k

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I have been very active in working with homeless. Every year I collect blankets, then we go out in the evening one night in the fall and hand them out. It is very easy to solicit blankets from my friends and family. I will send out many FaceBook postings about it and then have three or four collections dates. Seeing the faces of those we help is just priceless. Most of them would just love to be heard. Have someone say ''Hey you mean something to me, even though we are strangers''. I just want to touch them and let them know that they matter.

I also work with the Union Gospel mission offering my time in the soup kitchen. We do this more with our church now then on our own, just because they set everything up well in advance.

I have started the somewhat long and tiring process of setting up a Non-Profit charity. I am going to buy and supply helmets to school age kids. I also would love to try and get an education program that is a little stronger in teaching kids how to play safely on things in a ''Street'' setting. I want to hammer in the thought process that helmets save lives.

My kids are involved through there school with a program called Operation Blessing. It supplies families in need with food, money and emergency assistance. They get to see first hand how many people dont have much, that there are others of us that dont get a pillow to sleep on every night. My kids have seen through this first hand that we are all in this ''Life'' together and that as Christians we are called to do good services for others that can not for themselves. It has been a very humbling program for them to be in and I am so proud of the work they have done this year.

Through my husbands work we also donate to Food Life Line and United Way. His Law office is very involved with both of these charities. Several times a year we will have drives, contests and other promotional things take place that help bring in donations for both. My favorite thing to date we have done is the book sale. They had employees bring in new or used books and they had them for sale to the whoever wanted to buy them. This was at all of their offices...Portland, New York and the two offices that are over seas. They brought in over 20k with the first go at this! It was amazing!!

I also used to be very involved in a program called Tree House. It is a not for profit that allows kids that are in foster homes a place to come and ''Shop'' like regular kiddos. It is a donation based system. The volunteers they get come in and help process the donations, they will also work the floor on the days the warehouse is open for shoppers. I first got involved in this while working for Nordstroms. The FULL LINE workers would donate time and come in and work with the make outfits and stuff like that. It made them feel a sense of normal that alot of foster kids dont get. Once I stopped working for Nordstroms, I still gave like crazy. My kids were growing like weeds and we would be growning out of clothes fast. So everything has gone there. Now that they have slowed the growth process down..I am not there as much to donate.

My time here is not only for myself and my family/friends. I have been blessed with a roof over my head..and the means to take care of myself. I feel compelled to do things for others. It is really the only thing out of life I feel I really have to offer...My time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I teach everyone who will listen about gardening and canning. During MI strawberry season in a couple of weeks, I'm taking my BIL's girl friend to pick strawberries with us, then make jam and can it. I think growing and preserving are becoming lost arts that we need to survive! Hopefully what I pass on will be passed on to others etc. Knowledge is power.
We do Angel tree gift giving at Christmas time and donate whatever we can to the local animal sheltar.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

at our church retreat last weekend, one of our pastors talked about creating "chains of kindness" - making a practice of doing something kind for someone else whether or not the recipient is aware of it, with the realization that people who receive an act of kindness are often motivated to do an act of kindness and so we can spread kindness instead of bitterness, anger, etc.
I prefer not to think of making a visible 'mark' in the sense of 'making a name for myself' but hope that the various acts of kindness that I do - whether it be sending a card or saying some words of appreciation to someone, volunteering in the library of an inner city school, volunteering in my daughters' classrooms, washing dishes in the kitchen at my daughters' school, being a listening ear to a friend, answering the countless questions my kids have while attempting to maintain my patience, etc., - will help others feel valued and motivated to be kind to others.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think I make the biggest impact through doing the small, everyday things that over time make a difference:
-three babies in cloth diapers, I literally kept a mountain of disposable diapers out of the landfill
-using rags instead of paper towels, basically using as few disposable items as possible
-maintaining a positive attitude, not only does it make people want to be around me, but it can lift their spirits, they in turn lift others, etc.
-giving time and money to organizations I believe in and VOTING for people and policies I believe make the world a better place
-practicing random acts of kindness and courtesy, on the road and in all public places
I really feel it's the accumulation of all the "small deeds" that most benefit society and humanity in general :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

One thing I teach my children is that doing a good deed shouldn't be done for getting a pat on the back, recognition, or 'making your mark'. It should just *feel good* inside and make the recipients happy about someone's generosity.

~I grew up very poor, so besides donating used clothing I also donate brand new clothing & toys. It feels so good to were brand new clothes instead of stains, faded, or out of shape.

~donate money to 2 charities that we feel strongly about

~send thank you cards for good customer service

~if waiter is good we always tell the manager how pleased we were

~sponsor a family (anonymously) for Christmas

~annual xmas party our guests bring toys for kids to donate

~help elderly put groceries in car

~volunteer with sons cub scout pack

~we have a rather poor acquaintance & we have bought her 2 girls clothing, school supplies, pay for fun activities, my husband repairs her car for free & usually buys the parts too

~volunteer at church, homeless shelters for men, woman, & children

~my heart goes to single young moms (cause i was one), so i will babysit for free for them to work, have helped furnish an apartment, bought groceris, picked them up & brought them home to work everyday for 6 months

~let my sister & 2 kids live with us rent free for 2 1/2yrs so she could go to school & get a career instead of just a job

Where we live they ask that children under 7 don't volunteer, so as of right now we are limited on our volunteering efforts. When my kids get a bit older we will be volunteering as a family on a regular basis so it becomes a part of their life, that way they won't feel like they need recognition for all their charitable efforts.

Next question: Where to Begin When You Want to "Give Back"