The month of July is National Make a Difference in Children month. Do you have children? Enjoy being around children? Love to hear them laugh and play? Have you ever seen one cry? Just need a hug? A child that has been neglected?
We all enjoy the sweet laughter and play of children around us, whether it be our own children or those within the community; but how often do we stop to listen to the cries of those who are not so lucky and stop to assist them? It is a simple task that we all have availability to do, so what makes it so hard?
Time is a constraint that is most often utilized as an excuse amongst others. An excuse is just a reason that we utilize to substantiate our own inadequacies and avoid many of the circumstances that are right in front of us. For those, who wish to create the frequent excuses regarding the children within the community or those within our own houses, this month creates a challenge for us. A challenge to make a difference, not only in a child’s life but ours as well.
Time does not have to be a factor within making a difference, because there are so many simple things that can be done to provide a smile for one youngster or several in a matter of a couple of minutes. Simply donating toys to local hospitals and organizations that help children in need is a start. There are several stores now that not only sale groceries but incorporate other goods as well, what we commonly refer to as “super centers” now. These stores allows for better time management skills, while shopping for your weekly groceries you can step over one or two isles and pick up a reasonably priced stuffed animal or small toy for a donation.
Wait, does that mean you will have to spend money you say? Yes, but that’s not the only option. For those of you, who are plagued by monetary issues in today’s economy there is a simple solution; where you can not provide funds, you can your time. Spend some time within the local hospital playing with or entertaining the sick children; whose parents are already exhausted all efforts from timely hospital stays. Have neighborhood children over to your home for a small pizza party or get together and allow their parents to come. Most pizza places now offer great deals that are affordable for almost any budget.
Other options for making a difference do exist, its up to you to be creative and find new ways or “spiff” up old ways of bringing a smile to a child close to you or in your local area. To them, your support is crucial. There are several organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children within the Opelika-Auburn area such as Young Life East Alabama (www.auburnopelika.younglife.org.), East Alabama Mental Health Services (http://www.eastalabamamhc.org), The Child Advocacy Center of East Alabama (http://cacea.net/aboutus.html), Lee County Youth Development Center (http://lcydc.org), Big House foundation (http://www.ourbighouse.org) and many organizations, hospitals and private entities; although these organizations are staffed, they can utilize an extra set of hands or maybe even a donation to assist them in operating cost.
Maybe you have the space within your home to offer assistance with fostering services for those youngsters no longer able to have a family life or a permanent home. There are several foster and adoptions services not only in Lee County, but in Alabama in general to assist with these services. There are several children within the governmental system that not only need temporary but permanent homes with parents who will love, respect and cherish them regardless of there needs, medical or otherwise.
July will challenge us all to be better people within this one simple challenge. It not only shows a strength within your character to step up to this challenge, it will strengthen your character to meet all the little faces that depend on us adults to take care of them and love them unconditionally. After all, they are the generation that will eventually take care of ours.
Its definitely time to step up and make a difference in the next generation!