Five Ways to Celebrate Make a Difference Day

Want to be happy?

Make a difference in someone’s life.

For more than two decades, on the fourth Saturday of October of every year – which falls on October 24th this year – millions of volunteers unite to prove the universal truth found in the Bible: there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.

Can you reach out to an elderly person and make a difference in their lives?

Can you reach out to an elderly person and make a difference in their lives?

Of course, I’m talking about Make a Difference Day. It is a day to celebrate the power of people to make a difference.

If you’re looking for ideas, suggestions proliferate on the Internet this time of year.

Since I was a caregiver for my Mom who had dementia until she recently died, my thoughts are with the elderly this year. With that in mind, here are five ideas to help you make a difference in an elderly person’s life:

  1. Visit senior citizens at a nursing home. Offer to read the Bible or their favorite book to them. Decorate their rooms with homemade art that your children or grandchildren make. Offer your pet for therapy.
  2. Pick up groceries or medicine for an elderly person who is unable to drive.
  3. Offer to help with heavy-duty housework or yard work. Clean gutters, wash windows, shovel snow, or rake leaves.
  4. Go for a walk with an elderly person. If they are in a wheelchair, offer to push them around a beautiful park.
  5. Teach a senior friend how to use a computer or the Internet.

Of course, you need not limit yourself to the elderly. This is the perfect day to show a bit of kindness and gratitude to all the people in your life.

Thank those who make a difference in your life.

Thank those who make a difference in your life.

Why not write thank-you notes to those who serve you such as the mailman, teachers, grocery clerks, and waitresses? Bake cookies for your local fire department. Or simply compliment those who make your life better and thank them for all that they do.

Donate school supplies to a classroom, give books, crayons, or toys to a children’s hospital, donate a bike to a homeless person, or give clothes to a family in need. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Plant a garden and share the produce.

Don’t forget to show love to people in your own family. Take turns making a special meal or treat for each other and celebrate each member of the family. Thank them for always being there for you.

Pray as a family for the people in your life on a regular basis. Make a difference in your children and grandchildren’s life by reading the Bible as a family every day.

In other words, let your light shine. Of course, don’t limit your acts of kindness to the fourth Saturday of October. Make a concentrated effort to make a difference in someone’s life every day.

Because here’s the basic truth: Bring a bit of bliss into someone’s life and you will find bliss yourself.

Image courtesy of worradmu and Stuart Miles at


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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10 Responses

  1. Excellent list Julie! I used to participate in so many charity events in my community I confess I got a bit burned out but this is a wonderful annual event and I love the stories and creative projects people come up with. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Baby Boomer Bliss your 5 ways to make a difference in life is awesome! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives we forget about the silent needs of others. Your blog shows that by helping others we help ourselves and yes, it is better to give than receive because in the end the gift will come back to you.

    Kathleen O’Keeefe-Kanavos

  3. Suzie Cheel says:

    Julie, great list, we should have something like that in Australia on 4th Sat. I did see a wonderful fund raiser at the beach this morning for the for children in Uganda. Sometime we forget those near to us need out love and kindness. I know how Marty feels- Now to for the balance, thank you for the inspiration

  4. sherill says:

    Thanks for always sharing a very inspiring post. One kind deed each day can make a big difference in our life. Great Read.

  5. Carmela says:

    I really appreciated this week’s blog post Julie! Not just practical advice for Make a Difference Day, but just overall wonderful points for everyday life. Like thanksgiving, somethings should not be limited to one day a year. Give all the time, show gratitude and love towards all everyday.

    • juliegorges says:

      Yes, such a good thought and I wanted to get that across. Don’t just make a difference on Make a Difference Day. It’s something we should strive to practice each and every day. By the way, thanks for giving me the idea for this blog, Carmela. Much appreciated!

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