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Change Your World in Just 24 Hours



By Karen M. Thomas

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. - Betty Reese


People who live in poverty struggle against far more than financial lack. Confidence, social participation, and hope for the future can erode as resources dwindle. Everything most of us take for granted, from quality schooling to medical care to appropriate shoes for a job interview, becomes a luxury. Eventually, people without basic means retreat into survival mode as the rest of us go about our comfortable lives. Take a few minutes or an hour to diminish the inequity and revive hope.

Seek Out Scholarship

Help low-income students find college funding sources. Read the newspaper to uncover sources in your own community, and find other opportunities via library research, or on the Internet. One example is the Horatio Alger Association. Visit or contact:

The Horatio Alger Association

99 Canal Center Plaza

Alexandria , VA 22314


Pass the Test

Take the Catholic Campaign for Human Development's online quiz on poverty in the United States at It's easy to do, and the process is enlightening.

Subscribe to Reform

Join the CARE USA Action Network e-mail list. They'll send you information that can help eliminate poverty, as well as tips on urging national leaders to address the crisis of global poverty. Go to and click on Sign Up Now for the CARE Action Network or write for more information:


151 Ellis Street

Atlanta , GA 30303



Wear Your Heart on Your Wrist

Learn how Doctors Without Borders uses a "Bracelet of Life" to assess the nutritional status of children in impoverished countries. Then visit to download or order your own bracelet and wear it so that you can explain its purpose to everyone who inquires.

Outfit a New Employee

Donate gently used professional work clothing and accessories to organizations that help low-income men and women get and keep jobs. Look for a collection site under Social Service Organizations in your local Yellow Pages, or visit (for men) and (for women) for drop-off and mailing instructions.

Give Old PCs New Purpose

When you upgrade, donate your used computer and equipment to the National Cristina Foundation, which gives computers to public service organizations that provide education and training to people who are economically disadvantaged. Visit or call 203-863-9100.

Trade Ink for Aid

Donate your used printer cartridges to Recycling for the Poor, who will deliver them to a paying recycler. Proceeds are used to obtain food, housing, medical aid, and other services. Refillable cartridges are worth two to four dollars each, and organization leaders say that two dollars buys twenty pounds of rice and beans, which can feed eighty children. For maximum impact, get your workplace in on the effort. To receive a free, postage-paid shipping container from Recycling for the Poor, visit or contact:

Food for the Poor, Inc.

550 SW 12 th Avenue , Department 9662

Deerfield Beach , FL 33442

954-427-2222 or 800-427-9104


Excerpted from The Difference a Day Makes by Karen M. Jones. Copyright © 2005 Karen M. Jones. Excerpted by arrangement with New World Library. All rights reserved. $12.95. Available in local bookstores or call 800-972-6657, ext 52 or click here.

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