Making A Difference in our Community One Action at a Time

Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cities
Makulumy Alexander-Hills, Second Place
Grade 8, Middle School Division
Ms. McLaughlin, Judkins Middle School

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one,” Mother
Teresa said.  This is completely true when speaking about an individ-
ual’s role in benefiting one’s community.  We may not be able to help
our entire town, but we can start small and make a difference, for
every tiny bit helps.
We can help others in our community by starting with our own fam-
ily.  I know what it is like to live in a family where parents are looking
for a job, and where money may be scarce.  As  teenagers we can
help out simply by doing the laundry or cooking dinner.  Small chores
such as these are time consuming, and when our parents do not have
to worry about completing them, they tend to have lighter attitudes
and more relaxed conversations with us at the end of a long day.
Also, teens can be beneficial to their family by tutoring younger sib-
lings, holding small fundraisers, such as garage sales for outgrown
clothes or toys, and mowing lawns.  Everything helps.  As a teen, I
can see how we can spread goodwill by tutoring neighborhood chil-
dren.  I know what it is like when a kid down the street comes to your
house to say, “thank you; you helped me get a good grade on the test
I took yesterday”.  It’s only fair to help others; by doing so, we may
build friendships not just among ourselves, but among our parents as
We can also benefit our community at school.  Our local middle
school has a “Natural Helper” program where students are chosen to
help others in need of academic support.  Natural helpers build strong
friendships with someone who may not have many friends or some-
one who needs a peer to discuss ideas and family issues with them.
Also, as students, we can support our school through fundraisers.  By
helping our school, we benefit others in our community.
Finally, teens are not too young to join parents who help our com-
munity directly by being present at city council meetings where they
share their ideas of fairness and their hopes for their city.  Also, they
can help feed the homeless.  I know what it is like to be involved with
feeding, helping, and entertaining the homeless on Christmas Day.
I know how contributing to my community builds friendships not just
between the homeless and ourselves, but also between the other
members who support the homeless along with us.  Finally, I share a
sense of fairness when helping them select warm clothing items or
sleeping bags, giving a fair amount to all.  Helping out at a homeless
dinner shows community goodwill.  Without these dinners, the home-
less would have no place to go on Christmas and they would feel
even more unfairness in their plight.
Overall, there are many ways to spread good will in our community.
We may promote fairness and speak the truth at a city council meet-
ing, help build friendships at our schools and at homeless dinners,
and benefit the entire community by simply tutoring a struggling stu-
dent.  But if each individual thought consciously about the principles
of the 4-Way Test before choosing what to say to another individual,
or how to act towards others, we could build a caring community that
knows no limits.

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