We can each make a difference in just one life

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan said these words many years ago, but they still serve as a good reminder of how we should live our lives.

This subject also brings to mind the classic “Star Thrower” story written by Loren Eiseley in 1969. It tells of a man who is walking along a beach. He encounters a young boy who is digging stranded starfish out of the sand and throwing them back into the ocean.

“But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” said the man.

The boy then picked up another starfish and threw it into the water.

“I made a difference to that one,” replied the boy.

When you think about the amount of need in our world, it can be downright overwhelming to understand how you can even put a small dent in solving the problem. However, we need to do what we can, even if it is just helping one person.

It will make a difference to that person, who might be inspired to help someone else.

Think about where we would be as a community, country and world if we all put this into action!

While there is certainly no limit on when you should help someone, the pending holidays provide a good time to put the message of the starfish story into action.

Barnwell County residents have several opportunities coming up to impact their neighbors of all ages.

For those looking to provide needy children with toys for Christmas, there are three opportunities. The Rotary Club of Barnwell County has operated the Secret Santa program for many years to provide hundreds of children with presents annually through the generosity of families, businesses and organizations that sponsor children. A Toys for Tots campaign is also being implemented this year through a local family and the Marine Corps League to reach more children who otherwise would not have any presents for Christmas. Check pages 1A and 3A for more details. Also, many local churches have Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes available for people to fill with toys and other goodies. These boxes will then be delivered to children in more than 150 countries.

Supporting senior citizens by making a donation to the Love Lights program is another way to impact our community. The Barnwell Downtown Association and The People-Sentinel sponsor this annual fundraiser in support of the elderly in Barnwell County. Residents can purchase a white light in memory of a deceased loved one or colored light to honor someone living. A minimum donation of $5 is required and proceeds go toward the Barnwell County Nursing Home Residents’ Fund, home delivered meals by Generations Unlimited of Barnwell County, and the Barnwell Rotary Club’s Coins of Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART) Fund. Turn to pages 2-3A for details.

#GivingTuesday is another great reminder of the importance of giving back. It’s a global day of giving that inspires people to collaborate in improving their communities and give back to charities they support.

“This November 28th, join the movement and give - whether it’s some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community. Whether you come together with your family, your community, your company or your organization, find a way to give back and then share your idea,” according to www.givingtuesday.org. The website also offers helpful tips and ideas on how to get involved.

Our community has many needs, so we hope you will use your creativity, skills and passion to give back throughout the year.