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This Saturday you can make a difference!

Dear Editor,
Next Saturday, October 25, marks the 13th Annual Make a Difference Day across the nation. It's a day of celebration - of neighbors helping neighbors. It's a day for you, as an individual, group, family, business, or organization to volunteer to do something worthwhile for someone else.
How can you make a difference right here in Lake of the Woods County? Well, how about visiting LakeWood Care Center on Saturday and reading to the residents there? Or, you could clean up a playground or park. Go shopping for an elderly person. Visit the Humane Society and play with the animals there - better yet, consider adopting one! Donate clothes to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or the Pequana Playhouse or high school drama club. Read to elementary students or help high schoolers with homework. Donate art supplies, clothes, or magazines to the Crisis Resource Center. Be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Volunteer at a Special Olympics event in this area. The list goes on and on. You don't really need to look too far to find some way to give of yourself for someone else.
Incidentally, everyone who helps others on Oct. 25 and sends in an entry form is eligible for a national or local award and for a cash donation to a charitable cause. To find out more, check out www.makeadifferenceday.com or www.usaweekend.com/diffday . These websites give you more ideas on how you can help, show inspirational stories from TV stars, coaches, and athletes, and give you the tools and resources needed to get more involved.
Although this is the largest single day of helping others, it should only be a kickoff to a year-long commitment to making a difference, however small, in our community and across the nation. All of the ideas suggested above can not only be done one Saturday in October, but also every day or every week of the year. Think about what you could do to make a difference. You may be surprised by the positive impact you have.

Sariina Kalli
Williams, MN.