What Is Something Small That You Do to Try to Make a Difference?

Updated on June 03, 2010
K.C. asks from Underwood, MN
11 answers

Hi what is something you do to try to make a difference?
My two children and sporadically ( depending if they have colds or not..lately it always seems it colds or allegies) we visti the people in a local assited living.
We started hosting a boy from a Fresh Air Fund last year. This is a wonderful program. Its for kids that reside in NYC and are matched up wih a family that reside from Maine to Virginia. These kids don't have the luxury of grass or going swimiming. We have the same child staying with us again. He was polite and got along with everyone in our family.
I like to tell people they are doing a good job. The teacher directing traffic in the school parking lot or the guy fixing the side walk..everyone enjoys some positive kind words.
I like making cookies for the office staff at my boys school. It makes them smile. I appericate the work they do.

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answers from Portland on

I used to work at an assisted living community. I love working with the elderly.
Since I stopped working there, I will on occasion stop in and visit. I love conversing with them as they mean so much to me.
I help homeless people when I see them on the street or the side of the highway. I will give them food, not money. They are usually so very grateful. It is so rewarding to feel like you have made a difference in someone's life.
Have a nice day!!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Miami on

I like your question and look forward to the rest of your responses. With my little oneI try on a daily basis to build in daily respect and kindnesses all around us:

1. say hello and good bye to "all the people in the neighborhood" (like Mr. Rogers :)),

2. put plastic bottles in recycling bins

3. visit our elderly neighbor

4. leave nice tips when we go to restaurants

5. treat others with respect

6. give money to beggars that look like they need it, or to sidewalk musicians.

When he is older, I plan to either take him to a food kitchen, elderly home, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux Falls on

I like to do alot of "little" things daily. I tried consciously looking for little things to do years ago, and now it just comes naturally without even thinking about it. Such things as opening doors for people behind me, complimenting people, smiling at people and saying good morning. If a person has a name tag on, I always use their name when talking to them. Letting someone into my lane in busy traffic. I tip well, even when the server is over worked and service was slow. I like to encourage people, play with children, and I love hugs! I could go on and on. When you do things for other people, it not only makes their day, it improves your whole outlook on life. It's a win-win strategy to live!

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answers from Dallas on

One thing I do is try to stop & offer assistance when I see someone stuck on the side of the road. I try to be smart about it; I don't normally stop at night & won't stop for a truckload of guys. Usually it's just a "hey, do you need to use my phone to call someone?" or "can I run your gas can to the store & back for you?" You wouldn't believe how few people stop to help & it really sucks to be the one stranded with noone willing to help. Sounds like you are really trying to help people out & make a difference - good for you!!

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answers from Portland on

Wow, you do so much! How lucky your children are to have you as a role model.

We ALWAYS offer help to the elderly when out and about. Sometimes it's holding open a door, offering to carry groceries, picking up something that fell or just sharing hello's and how do you do's. You can see in their faces that they aren't used to people practicing plain ole' manners and that is a real tragedy. So our small thing in integrating respect for all people - particularly elderly - into our daily lives to a degree that it becomes second nature.

Great post!

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answers from Kansas City on

I run a daycare 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. I don't get out much. So I have to find ways to care for people right here. I don't charge extra for longer days if a parent needs to be late from time to time. I take situations that many other providers wouldn't consider because of crazy hours. I don't charge extra for infants. The parents are already paying so much for diapers and formula and leftover medical bills. Why charge them so much more for daycare too?! I also offer to watch 2 of my children longer on Saturday and Sunday so that the mom can get a little sleep. She works graveyard 4-5 days per week and gets sleep deprived sleeping mostly when the kids take naps. I give to a charity called Modest Needs dot org. I give regularly to Harvesters, a local food pantry supplier. I do believe that we should give back at all times and in as many ways as possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I have a sponsor child in Peru and we send letters and photos to each other. If your kids are old enough you can choose a child the same age and they can be penpals. It's a really easy way for kids to learn about another culture and how they can help other people even if they are far away. It's been a really amazing experience and I plan to do it again. If you want more info just private message me.

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answers from Dallas on

When we see police officers in our community going to lunch, we pick up their tabs. It is the least we can do. We actually stopped in at a restaurant today for lunch and 2 police officers were in line in front of us, we bought their lunch.

We would do the same for military if we saw them ordering food as well. Just a little thank you.

Especially on HOT days in Dallas, I give my postal carrier an iced bottle of water.

Just little things here and there that say thank you and you are appreciated.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I work and have small kids, so don't have the time or flexibility to do much. We catch doors and tell people the boys are in training. If I'm alone shopping (rare) I watch for anyone who might need a cart returned for them (elderly, with small children, etc.). We let people with a few items go ahead of us in the grocery line because we usually have enough food for an army. My husband has fetched handicapped carts for people to bring to their car in the parking lot, and he has called me at work to tell me to update the checkbook balance because he bought pizza for a homeless person with our kids in tow. I think my job makes a difference, especially because I am a good listener. Sometimes a call at work can take 45 minutes and not even end up being a call we get any kind of credit for because the person got to us by mistake, but we have a long conversation and I provide a lot of information and answer questions and someone is happier at the end of that call. I try to send a thank you note when someone passes clothes down to my kids. If my husband is with me, we'll stop and check on people on the side of the road, or if it is a woman or someone with kids, I'll stop on my own. We really can't do much beyond treating people kindly or politely when they cross our paths.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We do a lot as a family in a variety of situations. We've even fed the homeless on Christmas eve. And this was under the bridge homeless, not in a soup kitchen. But MY favorite thing to do is to thank the unsung heros as you mentioned.
Our schools janitorial and food service staff seem to always hear the bad stuff so I try to make a point to tell them thank you or to have a great day when I see them.
The little college girls at the dry cleaners. . . one day last year it was miserable HOT! I went and got them each a bowl of ice cream.
I've been known to stop and hand my bottle of cold water to the road work guy who has to stop traffic.
Just even a quick email or hand written (does anyone do that anymore) telling someone they've been on my mind and I hope they are having a great day!

I too can't wait to keep reading the posts. Great Question Kim!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I volunteer moderate two recycling/freecycling yahoo groups in my area, I volunteer in the baby room once a month at church, I volunteer once or twice a month as needed for registration and security at our Kid's church, I do the prep for the craft projects at home for the pre-school age classes at church, my husband is on the greeter's team and the mowing team at church, he helps elderly people or women with children load their car in the parking lot at the store, we've paid the bill for other people at a restaurant before - usually an elderly person or couple, or a military person, we have volunteered for a few years at local street festivals put on by the city in different capacities, and all the little niceties already mentioned by others like holding the door, making it a point to smile, say hi and compliment others, etc.

My husband and I try to teach our kids by example when it comes to volunteerism and as a result, my daughter has been doing a lot of volunteer work with the younger children at our church, she's done some volunteer work at the animal shelter, a horse therapy facility, a local senior center, and as a Junior Girl Scout she's done some work with a couple of younger Brownie troops mentoring, and teaching crafts.

There are so many ways we can give back to society and we try to do little things each day to make someone's day a little brighter and our world a better place.


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