Heart to Heart

Do you want to make a difference to society?

There are many ways in which we can make an impact on the lives of others. We can protect the environment, create awareness of social needs and reach out to help those who are in need.

The satisfaction of making a difference is inestimable. PW Kidzone gives you practical ideas to help you make society better by bringing joy and cheer to others.

Make a Difference!

Doing something that will make the world a better place is a two-way gift. You do something for others and feel great yourself! Try these simple ideas.

• Celebrate your next birthday with residents of the nearest old age home or orphanage. It will be a party to remember!
• Volunteer to organise games, book reading or craft sessions at a children’s home.
• Tutor kids who can’t afford tuitions in subjects you are strong in, or help them learn better spoken English.
• Locate your nearest animal shelter and volunteer to help.
• Collect funds for earthquake victims or an NGO. Get together with friends and come up with ideas to raise money.
• Be alert to people in need. It could be your classmate struggling with maths, an aged neighbour who needs help with her groceries or a friendless little girl. Offer to help as and when required.
• Gather your friends and form a club to promote environmental awareness. Together you can plant trees, segregate waste or make a compost pit.
• Pledge your organs with parental consent.
• Give generously. Find people or children in need and bless them with an unexpected gift. Make kindness a habit!

– Anitha Bennett

Short story

Preetha’s winning move

Preetha was cycling to school, excited. At the Sports Day event that evening, Preetha was a finalist in the Slow Cycle Race. She was an expert and usually won.

On the way, she saw a little girl crying, and looking lost in a crowded street.

She stopped near the girl and got off. The girl was still crying and looking around, as if she were searching for someone.

“Where’s your mummy?” Preetha asked her, but the girl cried louder.

“She is obviously lost,” Preetha thought. She picked up the little girl and rocked her comfortingly.

A man nearby looked at her. “Is the girl lost? I’ll take her to the police station,” he said.

Preetha thought he looked suspicious.

She remembered her Slow Cycle Race. It would start soon, and if she waited to help the girl, she would miss it!
“I’ll help her reach her mother safely,” the man said again. If she handed the girl over to the man, she could get to school on time.

‘No, I need to make sure the girl is in safe hands. I just don’t trust this man,’ she told herself.

She quickly walked away from the man, trying to soothe the child and wondering how to locate her mother. After a while, a lady came running towards her. She was crying and calling out, ‘Ammu! Ammu!” The child turned and gurgled happily, holding out her hands to the woman.

There was no doubt that it was her mother. She thanked Preetha profusely and explained how the child had wandered away.

‘The Slow Cycle Race must be over by now,’ Preetha thought, hurrying to school.

She was disappointed that she hadn’t been there for the race. To her surprise, the principal was announcing a special prize for Preetha, a girl who had made the school proud by helping a lost child find her mother.

She was thrilled. She knew she had done the right thing.

Teacher’s Corner

Choose a charitable organisation that you want your class to support.

Set apart a Saturday and organise a charity sale. Divide and assign tasks to groups of children.

One group could make posters and banners. Another group can write out invitations to parents and well-wishers. Another set can discuss and plan the items that should be brought to the sale. Students can contribute cakes, cookies, candy, craft items and knick-knacks to sell.

When the sale is over, go with your students to the charity you are supporting and hand over the money collected!

Try your pen power – Nikhil Jayadevan

When you set out to do something to make a difference — for example, to eradicate hunger — working alone or with a few friends is not enough. So it becomes necessary to write letters to alert government officials, newspaper editors, local business leaders and producers of television news programmes.

Write what you have learnt about the root causes of the problem. Suggest what can be done locally or nationally to eliminate them.

If you write letters or send e-mails, it shows that you care enough to find out about the causes of problems. Providing solutions to those in power makes their job easy. Everyone can do with a little help. Influencing elected officials, media heads and company presidents can lead to getting policies changed.

Getting media exposure for your ideas means you will also attract attention to your causes. And so, you will have a better chance at winning support for your cause and possibly getting new plans and projects in place to improve people’s lives.

Write to the concerned people, offering solutions and bringing ideas or issues to light.

You could highlight homelessness, hunger, unemployment, unequal education, environmental protection, wildlife conservation, discrimination, the media’s role in educating the public about hunger, etc. You can make an impact and be a catalyst for change!

Day for others

USA celebrates Make A Difference Day on the fourth Saturday of October every year.

The Make a Difference day is set apart for helping others. Sam Daniel, who participates every year, says, “It’s a day of celebration — an occasion of friends helping friends, neighbours helping neighbours and strangers helping strangers.” Across the nation, millions of people participate every year. More than 3 million people cared enough about their communities to volunteer on that day, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns. The projects ranged from big time interventions to small time help. Some were adventurous and collected huge truckloads of clothing for the homeless. Others spent the day helping an elderly neighbour or a sick relative.

Wilton Yogure of California who raised $5000 for a needy foster home, summarises the value of this eventful day by saying, “We pass through this world just once. So why not make a difference?’

Moms n’ Dads – Anitha Bennett

Here’s an activity that you can do as a family and enjoy the spirit of giving.

On special days, like birthdays, anniversaries or festival days, put together some home-cooked food packets.

The whole family can be involved in the cooking process. The food could be sandwiches or some kind of flavored rice like lemon, coconut or tomato. Pack them together with a small hand towel, a little toy or a sweet box.

Visit a place frequented by destitute people. Talk to them, give them the food, and see if you can think of any other way to help them.

Maybe you could offer them some work like gardening, or help a child enroll in school, funded by your family.
If you talk to them for awhile, you’ll find that you can do something more than provide one meal for them.

Puzzle Box

Parvathy wants to convey a message to some of her friends. Can you find the names of her friends and the message?

Answers: Reduce, reuse, recycle. Shalini, Mohan, Sirish, Binu, Harish, Anju.

Book Mark

Kids’ Random Acts of Kindness

A selection of real-life stories from children all over the world. It brings out the essential reminder to reach out and connect with people through random acts of kindness and shows the difference they make.

Publisher: Conari Press

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