Making a Difference
A child was walking along a beach when he saw a starfish washed-up on the sand. The child picked-up the starfish and threw it back into the sea. An adult witnessed what the child had done. He told the child, “There are hundreds of starfish washed-up on this beach. What difference did it make to throw one back into the sea?”
The child replied, “It made a difference to that one.”
The child intuitively knew the meaning of Christ’s parable about the Good Shepherd, leaving the flock of 99, to search for the one, lost sheep. The child understood Emerson’s verse about “Success”; “To know that even one life breathed easier, because you lived.” The child taught the adult the lesson, “Not to forsake the good, in search of the perfect.”
My friend was asked to join the local High School’s Booster Club’s Board of Directors. The school needed to raise an additional $45,000 to expand the stadium seating for both the football and soccer stadiums. It had to raise that remainder within the next 6 weeks to take advantage of a very low-cost construction project. All the usual large donors had given, along with all the Booster Club members.
The Booster Club Board was distraught & desperate. Hence, they asked my friend to provide additional channels of donation. My friend asked if the non-Booster Club High School parents were contacted. Blank stares surrounded the table. The Board members assumed that they wouldn’t be interested because they didn’t join the Booster Club at the beginning of the year.
My friend volunteered to write a letter to those parents. The letter would stress “Make a Difference”:
“Previous Booster Clubs paid for the Stadium Lights and the Concession Stand. This is your chance to tell your children and grandchildren that I helped build that stadium. For $35 you will make a difference so that the the Football & Soccer Stadiums will have additional seating for parents & grandparents to watch their children play. Your 35 Bucks will make a difference, to provide treasured memories.”
My friend got permission from the School District Superintendent to send letters to all Middle School parents asking for $20. Letters were also sent to all Grade School parents asking for $10.
One-month letter, the Booster Club Treasurer reported that when he went to the Club’s Post Office Box, it was empty. Except for a note to see the postal clerk behind the counter. The clerk handed the Club’s Treasurer bags of mail, like the scene in the movie, “Miracle on 34th Street”.
The Treasurer reported to the Board that there were many $10, $20, and $35 checks in the bags. There were also checks for $100, $500, and $1,000. The checks totaled over $55,000. The contract was signed and the expanded Stadium Seating was built.
Too often, opportunities are missed to make a difference in someone’s life. A pat on the back, a kind word, or thanks for a favor make a difference, like that small boy tossing a starfish back into the ocean. Like a small check seems insignificant, but the accumulation of many can construct something beautiful & great.
The accumulation of kindness can make all the difference in someone’s life. Emerson confirmed that “Success” is “To know that even one life breathed easier, because you lived.” Make a difference.