If you don’t think that ONE person can make a difference, then I have a two stories to inspire you otherwise.
The one thing I LOVE about these stories is that the change that occurred happened because ONE person had an idea, put that idea into action and then got other people on board to make the idea “happen”. This exemplifies the “one person can make a difference” principle. If you don’t think that your idea, that YOU alone can make a difference, I hope these stories will inspire you –
No one I know likes sitting in traffic.
Unfortunately, because we live in a small town in a coastal community we have two main issues with traffic: one main way to get from point A to point B and bridges over a major body of water, the Cape Fear River. Add road construction to that mix and we have one big mess of traffic.
This problem is how a Facebook page focused on one particular area of traffic was born. Once word got out about the page, it quickly became popular and in just a few short weeks has over 2,000 “likes”. Even more important than that is people USING the page to post updates and suggestions. There really isn’t much of an alternate route suggestion but by checking the page before we leave home we can make adjustments to our travel plans.
As the page grew, so did the attention to the issue. Someone in the group contacted the local media. Someone else shared contact information for others in the group to contact local law enforcement as well as members of the local city government. A news story was made and a whole bunch of people contacting local government got their attention too. Then, there was an official response to specific issues by members of the DOT. In short, people responsible for making decisions about the construction and traffic issues heard the complaints, the suggested solutions and gave us a detailed response.
Does it completely solve the problem? No. But at least the issue is being handled in the best way possible instead of being ignored. In addition, there is now a community of people working together to help others navigate their morning commute. ONE person started that community effort. One person made a difference.
A friend of mine sent me an email after a recent trip to her childhood home town.
Our New England trip last stop was at Clayton, NY, 1000 Islands where I grew up. I haven’t been there in 20 years. At that visit the town was really looking almost sad. The summer tourism was down, two factories had closed and it seemed to be almost drying up. Wow, was I in for a surprise! My sister arrived first and called me excited, you won’t believe it, Clayton is beautiful! It is just beautiful!! I can’t wait until you get here! My sister was right, Clayton had changed. There were people everywhere, just like when I was a child. Buildings had been restored and repurposed and restaurants had opened. Murals were painted on sides of buildings in strategic places. Benches were plentiful so you could sit at the riverfront. Every shop or restaurant we entered, the staff were upbeat and helpful. What made this change? Local people! Local people who remembered how vibrant Clayton was in their growing up! They were the forefront in inspiration in helping local businesses get grants, hold fundraisers and most of all get people excited again! Yes, it was sad for my sister and I to make our traditional last trip down main street to take a look at “our” river but we left knowing that it is alive again!
I loved reading this story! I would assume that this started because ONE person had an idea and got others to support it. Once the support was there, they put the idea into action. What an impact the local people had for this town which then turned into an amazing trip home for my friend.
Have you or someone you know Made a Difference because they had and implemented ONE idea? I’d love to hear that story too and share it as part of the Make a Difference Monday series! Please contact me at ThatMelissaThomas@gmail.com