October 20, 2010

How are you making a difference?

Filed under: Community Outreach — Tags: , , — lidia @ 9:05 am

photo by elisabettar on flickr

Yesterday, I attended a special event honoring two Chicago businesswomen who make a difference in their communities.

The awards ceremony coincided with Make a Difference Day, an annual celebration of community service held on the last Saturday in October (this year it will be October 23).

After hearing the two awardees’ personal and inspiring stories of helping their communities, as well as the keynote speech about sharing knowledge and teaching others, it got me thinking:

  • Am I helping or teaching others?
  • Is my design work benefiting someone?
  • Can I do something new or different that will affect others positively?

The answer to all of those is: yes. When I think about it, I realize my design work can be beneficial to the community.

When I create a marketing piece for a local educational institution, it attracts a new student or donor that will make a difference in someone’s life. When I design an annual report for a local family organization, it brings awareness to someone who needs their assistance. And by planning and co-hosting local networking events, I’m helping people make connections and create opportunities for their (and the community’s) success.

But, I know I can do more. Lately, I’ve been brainstorming about my greeting cards and stationery. Outside of helping people make personal connections, I wondered how I can make a difference in the community with my cards. I remembered an organization I read about that was using greeting cards to bring together communities, so I’ve been researching how to make this happen here in Chicago (more to come soon!)

At the event last night, keynote speaker Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke quoted a Chinese proverb that resonated with me: if you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.

How is your work making a difference in someone’s life?

To see what others are doing for Make a Difference Day, follow #MDDay10 on Twitter