The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 22, 2001 · Page 60
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 60

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 22, 2001
Page 60
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Differeno Awards :e s ake A ^ -,.,..^rence Day, salute from first laay Laura Bush USA WEEKEND asked the first lady to react to Make A Differeme Day's action and history. Here is Jier exclusive essay. Once a yeai' on Make A Difference Day, people of goodwill and good heart unite for a common cause — to tend to the needs of others. The turnout is always impressive. But why? Part of the answer can be found in a poll once taken of volunteers in many fields. One question was, "Why did you volunteer?" More than a fourth said, "I volunteered because I was asked." This was just the case in Quincy, Mass., where 25 women were inspired to mail requests to friends asking for help for 350 needy children at an under- served school. The response was ti-e- mendous. Those who had been asked answered with such generosity that the women were able to host a "literacy pai-ty" for the entire student body — and 194 family members. Every child went home with a new book, and money was left over for a $500 donation to the school's media center. These women are among the Make A Difference Day honorees recognized in this issue. (See Altrusa story, page 8.) Make A Difference Day also began as a request for people to help — one day a year in October. Each year, millions turn out. In the words of another fii'st lady, Lou Henry Hoover, they want to help "those who desperately want to help themselves but can find no practical way to do so." One such compassionate American is a teenager named Jennifer who wrote to President Bush; "Today I experienced poverty firsthand. My Mend pointed out a family. He said to me, 'Do you see those people over there? I served them at the soup kitchen last night. Those kids haven't slept in a warm bed m all of theii' lives.' An issue of this magnitude requires monumental amounts of compassion, labor, and the perspii-ation and dedica­ tion of the capable members of society. I am not just wi-it- ing this letter to you. I am also joining organizations, helping in soup kitchens, arranging counseling and offering my hand to all that need it." Mighty words from a young volunteer. Jennifer could have spent her time with her friends, but instead she made a commitment to help strangei-s. Others who set aside private time for the public good are honored every Api-il by Make A Difference Day. I am proud to join in recognizing them. Among them is a couple from Bryan, Continv£d mi page 11 About Make A Difference Day Make A Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others — a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors, created by USA WEEKEND Magazine and held in partnership with The Points of Light Foundation. Everyone can participate. And on the nnost recent Make A Difference Day, Saturday, Oct. 28,2000, more than 2.2 million Americans reached out to others. Today, this special issue lionors all those good deeds and recognizes the recipients of $2.8 million in charity. • 10 receive the $10,000 national Make A Difference Day Award, funded by Paul Newman, who donates all after-tax profits from sales of Newman's Own products to educational and charitable purposes. • Five "hall of fomers" receive $2,000 Encore Awards, funded by the Gannett Foundation. • Two in each state receive $2,000 awards from Wal-Mart, retail supporter of Make A Difference Day. In addition, each of Wal-Mart's 2,600 stores last fall gave $1,000 to volunteers to strengthen the day's impact. • 529 receive local awards, distributed through the local newspapers that carry USA WEEKEND. WAL-MART NTS IGHT FOUNDATION D rea m big - Muldmw, Okla. - Third-grader Brendan Shepard beams at Kyle Alderson, 15, who became his reading tutor and role model on Make A Difference Day. Kyle paired up two dozen teens and 30 kids for a tutoring program he created in his town. Why? Well, he calls the program "Reading Encourages All Dreams." Story, page 8. 4 USA WEEKEND-April 20-22,2001

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