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  • Jenny Jeffery

Thought For Today: Making A Difference

What have Greta Thunberg. Marcus Rashford, an 11 year old girl and a tourist at a remote petrol station in Africa, have in common?

Well they all in some way made a difference.

Remembering his own childhood, where there was little money, Marcus Rashford took on the government recently and persuaded them to change their policy on providing meal vouchers for children in the school holidays.

Greta Thumberg, aged 16 has taken a recent lead in climate change.

An 11year old girl and her mother have raised over £10,000 for charity by making and selling more than 14,000 masks during this current pandemic.

And a tourist in the outback of Africa who pulled into a remote petrol station was greeted by the news that the attendant would be giving up work as he was no longer able to see. Immediately the customer took off his glasses and said, “Here have mine! You can keep them!”

Making a difference reminds me of two stories. The first a traditional story about starfish.

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up things and throwing them into the sea. The man asked the boy “Young man what are doing?” “Throwing star fish into the sea, the surf is up and the tide is out, if I don’t throw them back they may die”

“Ah” said the man, “but you do realise that there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish. You can’t make any difference!”

After listening to him the boy bent down and picked up another starfish. He smiled at the man, as he threw the starfish into the sea “I made a difference to that one!”

The second story from the gospels is of course the feeding of the five thousand. One boys small and generous offering making a huge difference to thousands.

“Making a difference” was a theme I used this week for Collective worship at Bishop Henderson School (via zoom of course!)Each year at school we support different initiatives. Individuals and families helping to support (in the past) Send A Cow, raising funds for a well through Water Aid, a school toilet block through toilet twinning, Lent a Hand (supporting our local community through Acts of kindness in Lent) and a few years ago an organisation known as “Sal’s Shoes”

A project started by just one mum, Sal, who noticed that her children were outgrowing their shoes before they were worn out. She was also aware that 300 million children in the world suffer from infection and injuries to their feet through not having shoes to wear and even are not being able to attend school without shoes to wear. So began Sal’s shoes who started collecting pairs of shoes through schools and other organisations. In the last 6 years, as a result, 1 and a half million children in 46 countries (including the UK) have been wonderfully grateful to receive a pair of shoes So have their feet!)

Sal’s shoes has a slogan “We can’t change the world, but we can make a difference!”

So lets think about the little difference that we can all make this week and if we can do that, then the little differences may help to make a big difference.

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