A famous humanitarian and wonderfully philanthropic actress, Audrey Hepburn, once said, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm…as you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Our sentiments exactly! Especially this week—when we celebrate National Make a Difference Day on October 24. Make a Difference Day is a day for encouraging people across the country to make a difference in other people’s lives. From gestures as small as buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks to volunteering at a local organization, there are so many ways that you can help your community.
So why is the Boonshoft Museum so interested in Make A Difference Day? Because the Museum and its sister sites (Fort Ancient, SunWatch, and the Boonshoft Museum Springfield) are all non-profit organizations! The backbone of every strong non-profit organization are dedicated volunteers who contribute their time, skills, and resources for the betterment of the organization. From public programming and special projects, to simply lending a helping hand to a family in the Museum, volunteers make our organization thrive.
What Difference Can You Actually Make?
Being an altruistic person causes a ripple effect of epic proportions. Not only does the organization or cause you are championing benefit, your peers will be inspired to lend a helping hand to a cause they care about, as well. Paying it forward, doing good things, and volunteering your time is infectious and an unstoppable force in the best kind of way—not only does it make you feel wonderful about yourself (and is actually great for your health!), hundreds of helping hands combined create a huge difference in your community, even the world.
In fact, many employees at the Boonshoft Museum either started at the Museum as volunteers or had a background in volunteering before they started their careers at the Museum. Our volunteers are such an inspiration to our staff, that the vast majority of our staff members continue to volunteer on a regular basis with organizations like the Victoria Theater Association, the Special Olympics, HART Animal Rescue, and many more.
I Want to Help! How Can I Celebrate Make A Difference Day?
Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie to volunteering, there is no better way to start than to just dive right in. Celebrate Make A Difference Day by doing one (or a few) of the following:
- Commit a random act of kindness and ask someone to pay it forward. Whether you pay for a stranger’s coffee or rake your neighbor’s yard, there is always a small gesture of kindness you can pass on to someone — and hopefully they will keep it going! Think of all of the amazing things that can happen in a day because of one small gesture that acted as a catalyst.
- Check out VolunteerMatch.org to view all of the available volunteer opportunities in your area and commit to tackling a project!
Make a donation to a local organization you feel passionate about! Go grocery shopping for the week and grab a few extra cans of food and make a donation to your local foodbank. Adopt an adorable pet, or just take some pet food to your local animal shelter. The Boonshoft Museum’s Zoo Animals are always hoping to receive an item from their wish list and all of our sites accept donations online through our safe and secure website.
- Visit boonshoftmuseum.org to fill out our Volunteer interest form. We currently have needs for the following in terms of volunteers:
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery: The Boonshoft has volunteer needs for coaches for the 2016-17 FIRST® LEGO® League season. Additionally, anyone 16 or older is welcome to assist with customers or programming, from reading stories to little ones to doing Science on a Cart experiments.
SunWatch: Perfect for retired individuals and history buffs, SunWatch is in need of tour guides.
Fort Ancient: Fort Ancient needs enthusiastic educators to assist with tours and scavenger hunts.
Learn more about Make a Difference Day by clicking here.