Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taking Action on Make a Difference Day

by Jennifer Holland Jameson, volunteer contributor

Volunteer this Make a Difference Day.
As a Navy wife constantly relocating to new cities and a mom of two kids, I’ve had to suspend my defiantly independent attitude and ask for help in countless ways. There’s a certain level of expectation for family members to lend support in tough times, but the assistance from strangers simply astounds me sometimes. It’s that kind of unconditional generosity that gives me hope for a future where my children will thrive. 

I’ve often wondered how to foster a heart for acts of service in these two tiny people who are so inward focused and oblivious to the hurt of others outside of their toy-packed playroom. How do I instill in my son and daughter that same inspiration of hope I found? 

I needed to show them. 

Like most busy moms, I didn’t know how to give any more of myself when I already felt defeated at any given moment. The demands of a newborn and a preschooler had reduced me to a walking napkin that smelled like BO and soured milk. I desired to make a difference in my community, but I didn’t know how to do it. 

The afternoon I watched news reports of determined men and women pulling dirtied, bloody children from an obliterated elementary school after a tornado struck Moore, Okla., I knew I could no longer sit on the couch and just cry. I was motivated more than ever to DO something. 

The American Red Cross was the first website I checked. Instead of just donating money, I was enticed by the “volunteer” tab. I was fascinated by all of the ways this iconic charity mapped out how anyone could help that wasn’t just rushing to the scene of a disaster or giving blood. 

It was such a gift to find a position that called for writers, a skill I had honed as a newspaper journalist before I became a mom. I’m eager to pour myself into my north Texas community and learn new skills through the many training options. 

Finally, I have an opportunity that allows me to make a difference and show my children how to give hope to others.

This Make a Difference Day, don't just think about wanting to make a difference, do it. Take the first step at

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