Make a Difference in a Childs Life

— Written By Carla Johnson

According to the US Department of Commerce, quickfacts in Person County there were 2,082 children under the age of 5 in 2016. In all there were 8,446 children under the age of 18 in Person County in 2016. According to Vicky Yeatts, Program Coordinator for Community Service and Restitution (Juveniles) there were 95 juvenile court cases involving children between the ages of 6-17. What can we do as a society to help our youth? To nourish their minds and make a positive impact on their lives that can make a difference to them that will serve a purpose to them even years after.

Looking back on when you were growing up, are there specific adults that stand out as you look back on your childhood? Teachers, parents, family members, coaches, or babysitters? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could be a person that a child looks back and remembers made a difference in their life? Well here is your chance. National Make a Difference to a Child month is a great reminder to spend some time with a child you know.

Kim Ratz, a long-time advocate for children, is the sponsor for this wonderful month. Here are four ways that you can make a difference to children:

1.)    Pick one (or more) event or activity to do with a child. (This should be in addition to your own child, or any children you regularly interact with)

Not sure what to do? Check out your local calendar of events. Visit a nearby museum and spend the day learning something new. Think of some activities or opportunities that may be common to your and you child that another child may miss out on due to economic or family situations.

2.)    Support an organization that serves children:

Think of local groups or clubs that could use help. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Sunday school, or children’s sports teams. Often these groups are in search of volunteers or financial support. You could look into your community education program and run a free activity day. Consider looking into other community agencies that offer programs for young children and youth, SPEED, VIP, GREAT, the public library has books, children’s programs especially throughout the summer, the Kirby Theater, Parks and Recreation, and My Life Matters. There may be smaller organizations in your local area as well. Maybe YOU can start a Big Brothers; Big Sisters program.

3.)    Tell your policy makers to support initiatives that are good for kids.

Who are your policy makers? These can be people that are on your school board, city council members, our county commissioners or even state legislators. Nothing can be heard if you keep quiet. Send them a letter or email promoting the good that can come from adults who choose to make a difference in the lives of children. You could share a story of an adult who made a difference to you, or how you have been able to make a difference in the life of a child.

4.)    Spread the word about this campaign.

Share the word with friends and family about the ways that they can have an impact on the life of a child. Create a group or event on Facebook, share a story on social media, and include photos of various activities

Author: Carla Johnson, Parent Educator, Very Important Parents Program of Person County

Author: Matsuda, Gary

Vicky Yeatts- Program Coordinator Community Services & Restitution (Juvenile) Teen Court