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If you can’t change the world, change your world

Small steps out of the norm can make a big difference

Published: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 3:00 p.m. CDT

Sunday I reached a milestone in life … I turned 30!  I am surprised how many people my age, male and female, are having a difficult time turning the big 3-0 when it honestly doesn’t bother me. I’m excited to see what the next 30 years have in store for me. It got me thinking whether or not I’ve had an impact on others in the years I’ve been given.  

Although I like to think I have, it’s easy for me to look around and see people who seem to have achieved far more greatness than I can ever hope to achieve. I often assume I have to do something worthy of a Nobel Prize to impact others. The fact is you can make a difference in the lives of others by being good at your job, being a loving parent or being compassionate and caring to those around you. 

My church is just finishing up with a series entitled “change your world in 52 days.” Typically, we hear people say they are going to change the world, which sounds rather intimidating and even impossible. Changing your world on the other hand is doable. 

My friend, Melissa, has been using Facebook to post ways to change your world daily. Her ideas are easy, unique and impactful, which is why I’d like to share some of them with you.

• Send a granny-sized hug to an orphan. Worldwide Orphans Foundation is an organization that cares for orphans in 5 countries.  In Bulgaria, they offer the “granny program.” Retired women with child-care experience typically commit to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, for a year, to the life of an orphaned child. Their job is to give individual attention and education to support healthy child development. To learn more about how to support the “granny program” so an orphan can have the individual love and attention each child deserves, visit www.wwo.org.

• Surf the web. Instead of using Google or Yahoo as your search engine, use www.goodsearch.com.  Goodsearch will donate a penny to the organization of your choice every time you search. A penny may not sound like much, but think of how many times you use a search engine in a day, week, or month. They have 100,000+ schools and organizations who partner with them. Even though there may not be Grundy County organizations on their list, there are organizations who support Grundy County, such as the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

• Learn and play online to feed the hungry. Freerice.com supports the World Hunger Program by donating 10 grains of rice for each question answered correctly. Subject matter ranges from English to math to chemistry and even SAT preparations. Freerice.com has fed more than 5 million people in the last 5 years thanks to people like you answering trivia questions.

• Eat dinner as a family.  Sept. 24 was National Family Dinner Day. Why is there just one day a year we are suppose to eat dinner as a family when studies show time and time again kids benefit from this greatly? In fact, kids that sit down with their family for dinner several times a week are less likely to smoke, drink or do drugs.  They are also more likely to develop a larger vocabulary, do well in school and have better eating habits. The Behavioral Health Alliance of Grundy County is suggesting Grundy families eat dinner together the 4th Monday of each month beginning Oct. 22.

The Community Foundation of Grundy County is here as a resource for you to use for ideas and support in your plan to impact your world. Feel free to give us a call at (815) 41-0852.

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