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Oct 21, 2010

I received a flyer in the mail the other day. It rang a bell; I had seen something like it in previous years. It was the annual Make a Difference Day information sheet. From the title, you can tell that it is about getting involved in the community and making a positive difference. This event has grown since 1990, and is held the fourth Saturday of October. It started through USA Weekend and the 800 newspapers it serves. It is a day dedicated to serving neighbors and the community, to meeting needs and offering support. There are thousands of people involved in organizing it. Just letting people know which needs exist is a big job. Nowadays with the internet, people can find out much quicker who needs what and where. Last year, over three million people got involved with local groups to help in many ways. As I glanced through the list of places to help in our little community, I counted at least thirty. However, there are other charitable groups that are not mentioned. In a large city, there must be hundreds of causes that people can help. Several of the groups here are set up to help poor and homeless people in the Winter. It is an awful prospect to be caught in a freezing climate with nowhere to live. Free coats, blankets, and all sorts of basic essentials will be donated at various places. Also the shelters, such as the Salvation Army, will be cleaned, painted, and prepared for the Winter. Volunteers are asked to sign up ahead of time, sometimes bringing their own equipment, and then they will be assigned a job or two. The projects are not just charitable, though. People can choose to plant trees or flowers in public places, pick up litter along highways and roads, or even provide babysitting. It's not compulsory; it's all about volunteering, doing a job, helping. Of course, once you are out there, you begin to see other areas in the community that need help. That is probably why Make a Difference Day has grown each year. I've put it on the calendar, and will be deciding with my family what we can do to help in our town.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: a flyer, to ring a bell, a prospect, to assign.

1. We get all sorts of flyers in the mail, advertizing this and that.

2. Your name rings a bell; have I met you before?

3. Finally getting a promotion is a wonderful prospect.

4. He assigned us jobs. Mine was to clean up after the event.