Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday #37- Mentor A Child!

Make Today Matter...
  • 3 million children are currently enrolled in a mentoring program. 
  • Mentors help children develop self-confidence, relationship skills, and a positive attitude toward school.
  • Nearly 70% of inner-city 4th graders are unable to read at a basic level.
  • 1 out of 3 public high school students won't graduate.
  • Nearly 3 million youth ages 12-15 are at risk of suicide annually, and over 35% will actually attempt suicide--approximately 2,700 attempts per day.
  • 15 million youth are in need of mentoring. If they don't get it, they are more likely to not reach adulthood successfully. These youth are:
-73% more likely to begin using alcohol.
-63% more likely to skip a class.
-54% more likely to begin using illegal drugs.
-48% more likely to skip school.

Take action today!
  1. Find a mentoring program near you and apply to become a mentor.
  2. Most mentoring programs will pair you with a child based on your skill set and the child's needs. 
  3. If you have your own children or know children who could use a mentor, be a self-starter and create your own mentoring program.
  4. Once a week, spend an hour or two with your mentee doing everyday activities like homework, playing sports, and having simpler conversation.
  5. Set goals with your mentee and share in the excitement of their achievement and growth.
You matter!
Children are just as capable of doing great things as any other person, but many times they are not equipped with the right foundation, knowledge, encouragement, and tools to make the right choices. The decisions they make can change the entire course of their futures. 

You may not know what to say or do, but you will quickly realize that what matters most is that you care.

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday #36- Be Neighborly

Make Today Matter...
  • The average dual-career couple works away from their home a combined 18.2 hours a day.
  • Urban sprawl is creating longer commutes--approximately 25 minutes per day.
  • People spend less than 15 minutes per day doing outside chores and gardening compared to over 3 hours watching TV or movies and surfing on the Internet.
  • The average person or family has friends over for dinner about 45% less often than they did in the 1970's.
  • In 1926, the first electric automated garage door opener was invented by C.G. Johnson, beginning the drive-in-and-shut-the-door method of entering your home.
  • The increased number of fenced backyards, coupled with the disappearance of front porches and verandas, has privatized residences more than ever.
Remember, you have to be a good neighbor to have a good neighbor.
Take action today!
  1. Meet a neighbor you've never met before. Simply knock on the door and introduce yourself. Take over something you've baked or grown in your garden, or invite them to your house for a beverage or a snack.
  2. Make yourself more available to your neighbors.
  3. Mow your front lawn, wash your car, go for a walk, or play outside. Or, if you see neighbors doing the same, go out and visit.
  4. Plan a neighborhood yard sale or block party.
  5. Write a quarterly neighborhood newsletter.
You matter! 
Does your mailman know your neighbors better than you do?

It's not enough to just drive by and wave to neighbors from your car window. To get to know your neighbors, you need to have personal interaction with them. But these days, people spend more time indoors watching TV and surfing the Internet than they do outside playing catch, taking walks, and talking to their neighbors.
Change that counterculture.

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday #35- Go Exercise!

Make Today Matter...
  • More than 50% of adults do not get enough physical activity and 24% are not physically active at all.
  • 1 death occurs every 36 seconds from heart disease and strokes.
  • Over 18% of children and 66% of adults are overweight, with 32,9% being obese.
  • Over 100 million adults have above normal or high cholesterol levels.
  • Roughly 20 million people have depressive disorders.
  • 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure.
Take action today!
  1. Set a goal for yourself. Think about what types of benefits you want to achieve. Weight loss? Increased muscle mass? Improved general health?
  2. Figure out what type of exercise you like most and best suits your desired goal.
  3. Create a plan. Start with 3 days a week, 30 minutes a day. Try to build up to 4 or 5 days a week, 45 minutes per day.
  4. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.
  5. Don't buy into excuses like "I don't have enough time" and "I can't afford a gym membership."
  6. Incorporate exercise into your workday by taking the stairs, walking during your lunch break, and stretching while at your desk.
  7. Always consult your physician or exercise specialist for safety and guidance.
You matter!
Do you really want to have heart disease, high blood pressure, a stroke, lung disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, depression, arthritis, or unwanted pounds?

If not, start incorporating regular physical activity into your day. By doing so, you'll increase your overall health, well-being, and quality of life. Physical activity does not need to be painful in order to be beneficial, so make it happen!

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday #34- Pick Up Litter!

Make Today Matter... 

  • 180 million tons of trash is generated every year. 
  • Common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, 6-pack can holders, glass bottles, and plastic straws.
  • Men and women are equally likely to litter.
  • People under age 15 are least likely to litter; people under the age of 25 are most likely to litter when in a group; and people over the age of 25 are most likely to litter when alone.
  • In one single day nearly 7 million pounds of litter were removed from beaches, lakes, and streams. 
  • Animals from nearly 300 species die from ingesting or getting entangled in marine debris annually. 
  • People litter because they:
- Don't think of the item as litter.
- View litter removal as someone else's responsibility.
- Lack knowledge about the environmental effects of their littering.

Take action today!
  1. Spend 1 hour today picking up litter. Or decide that every time you see a piece of litter today, you'll pick it up and throw it away.
  2. If you see someone litter, politely ask them to pick it up. Or pick it up yourself and maybe the person who dropped it will see you and get the hint.
  3. Organize a team of neighbors, friends, co-workers, or family members to pick up litter in a specific neighborhood for an hour. Bring rubber gloves and garbage bags and make it more fun by turning the cleanup effort into a game/contest.
  4. Enjoy making a difference, getting exercise, getting to know people better, and having cleaner surroundings.
You matter!
It's not community service, it's serving your community.

If every person picked up just 1 piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter. If every person picked up 10 pieces of litter, there would be 3 billion fewer pieces damaging our environment. If you and your friends spend just 1 hour today picking up litter in your own neighborhood, you will not only pick up thousands of pieces of trash, you will also make a tremendous impact on your community.

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)