Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday #42- Give A Hug!

Make Today Matter...
  • Stimulation by touch is absolutely necessary for physical and emotional well-being.
  • Touch is used to relieve pain, depression, and anxiety; to enhance a child's development and IQ; and to nurture premature babies.
  • Hugging strengthens the immune system, reduces stress, assists sleep, lowers blood pressure, and is an antidote to depression.
  • Hugging bolsters a patient's will to live, dispels loneliness, eases fear, opens doors to buried feelings, builds self-esteem, fosters altruism, and imparts feelings of belonging.
  • Hugging offers a wholesome alternative to promiscuity, alcohol, and drugs.
  • People need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, and 12 for growth.
Take action today!
  1. Hug the people you care about today. Hug them in the morning, hug them to say hello, hug them because they bring you happiness, hug them to say good-bye, hug them to say "I love you," hug them to show compassion, hug them if they are sad, hug them if they are hurting, hug them because they did something incredible, or hug them just because.
  2. Hug someone you don't know that well...but ask first!
  3. Challenge yourself and your friends to keep track of how many hugs you gave or received today.
  4. Notice how you feel at the end of your day of hugging.
You matter!
If everyone hugged 4 people today--the minimum requirement for "survival"--that would add up to 1.2 billion hugs. 
If everyone gave 12 hugs--the number required for "growth"--the total would be 3.6 billion. So take the time to give 12 hugs today.
That hug might be exactly what those 12 people why wouldn't you?

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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday #41- Choose Canvas Bags!

Make Today Matter...
  • Almost 7 billion paper bags and 400 billion plastic bags are used every year.
  • 90% of all grocery bags are plastic.
  • Only 5.2% of plastic bags and 21% of paper bags are recycled.
  • The average length of time a high-density plastic bag will exist on earth is 1,000 years.
  • Producing and recycling paper bags generates significantly more air and water pollution compared to plastic bags.
  • Paper is 40% of all waste.
  • The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags every 4 trips to the grocery store.
  • San Francisco, the first city in the U.S. to ban the use of plastic grocery bags, eliminates the use of 100 million plastic bags a year.
Take action today! 
  1. Buy several canvas shopping bags or use duffle bags that you already own. Most trips to the store require more than one bag.
  2. Purchase canvas bags made from recycled materials.
  3. Keep your canvas bags in the trunk of your car--trips to the store are often spontaneous.
  4. When purchasing only one or two items and if you don't have a canvas bag with you, just carry the items out of the store without a bag.
  5. If you forget your canvas bag, at least avoid double-bagging.
You matter!
You would accumulate 1,000 fewer bags this year if you simply used a reusable bag when shopping, especially grocery shopping. Paper and plastic bags are an environmental killer--they biodegrade slowly or not at all, deplete energy and natural resources, endanger wildlife, and poison our soil and waterways. 
So, from now on, when a store clerk asks "Paper or plastic?" you can proudly answer, "CANVAS!"

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

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday #40- Thank A Local Law Enforcement Officer!

Make Today Matter...
  • Over 675,000 sworn officers and nearly 295,000 civilian officers protect and serve citizens.
  • Over 14 million arrests occur annually for all offenses except traffic violations.
  • Each year:
- Over 50,000 officers are assaulted while performing their duties.
- Over 100 are killed--their average age is 37.
- Over 23 million people are victimized by violent and property crimes
  • There has been a 58% decline in violent crimes and a 52% decline in property crimes over the last 12 years.
Would you risk your life for a total stranger?
Take action today!
  1. Walk up and thank a law enforcement officer for keeping you and your community safe.
  2. Pull your car to your right and out of the way when you hear a siren or see a police car approaching with its lights on.
  3. Organize your friends, co-workers, neighborhood, or child's classroom to create and deliver a thank-you card to your local law enforcement agency, police station, or town sheriff.
  4. Ask your local police department which organizations support them...and donate.
  5. Support or start a Neighborhood Watch program in your community.
  6. Always report crime.
You matter!
Law enforcement officers make an incredible difference in your community. Every day they put their lives on the line to protect you, your neighbors, and your loved ones. Show appreciation, thank them for their valuable service, and tell them the impact they have on the lives of the people in your community.

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

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday #39- Have Fun w/ an Elderly Person

Make Today Matter...
  • The fastest growing age group is 85 years and older.
  • Every 7.5 seconds a baby boomer turns 60.
  • 1 out of every 5 people, or 72 million, will be 65 years or older by 2030.
  • Nearly 23% of people aged 75 and older live in nursing homes.
  • Due to the increase in divorce rates, a decrease in the number of children, and more family members living farther away from one another, family support for the elderly is less available.
Take action today!
We'll all be there one day...
  1. Offer the elderly you see today simple gestures of courtesy and respect--smile and say "hello," let them have the right of way while driving, or give up your seat in a crowded area.
  2. Contact a local independent living, assisted living, or continued care facility and ask if they need volunteers.
  3. Ask the facility if children or pets are allowed.
  4. Organize your family or a group of friends to go with you.
  5. Be prepared. Volunteering at a senior or elderly care home can involve many types of activities--playing games or cards, reading, doing art and craft projects, singing songs, teaching a class, or just being friendly.
  6. Ask the seniors questions about their life. 
  7. Have FUN!
You matter!
Our senior-citizen population is changing--and this group will grow by another 18 million people in the next 25 years. Today, seniors are living longer, are more full of life, have more expendable income, and have achieved higher levels of education. 

So, if you spend time with them, you might just find that a friendly game of gin rummy or bingo will teach you a thing or two...about life.

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

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday #38- Donate Blood

Make Today Matter...
  • Every 2 seconds someone needs blood.
  • 38,000 pints of blood are used every day.
  • Demand for blood is rising faster than the rate of donations. In fact, donations are declining.
  • 1 pint of blood can save up to 3 lives--maybe even the life of someone you know.
  • 60% of the population is eligible to donate, but less than 5% do on a yearly basis.
  • The #1 reason donors say they give is because they "want to help others."
  • Anyone who is in good health, is at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110lbs may donate blood once every 56 days.
Take action today!
  1. Find a blood donor location near you and schedule an appointment today.
  2. Donate blood. The blood donation process take approximately 30 minutes.
  3. When you donate, you'll receive a donor card stating your blood type. Keep the card in your wallet.
  4. Put yourself on a regular donating schedule of once every 56 days. If you have type O-negative blood, the universal donor type, your blood is especially needed because it can be used in emergencies.
You matter!
Human blood is precious and can't be manufactured outside of the body. If you gave blood 4 times a year for the next 10 years, you would save 120 lives. Think of how many lives you could save if you gave blood for the rest of your life! 
Saving just one life should be convincing enough. There is no substitute for human blood.

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