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Nov 06

Make a Difference!

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

Make a difference blog pic.jpgI just read a wonderful, funny, entertaining and inspiring book called Little Princes by Conor Grennan.  The author tells how he planned to travel the world, and ended up assisting at an orphanage in Nepal.  The children there are clever, resilient and funny, and his stories make you feel as if you knew them.  The story becomes remarkable when Grennan finds out that the children are not orphans at all, but victims of human trafficking.  The lengths he goes to in an attempt to reunite these children with their families will astound you.

Next I read a book called However long the night:  Molly Melching’s journey to help millions of African women and girls triumph by Aimee Molloy.  This story was even more incredible:  a college student planned to spend a semester abroad teaching classes in a Sengalese village.  She ended up spending almost four decades in Africa, founding an organization which transformed the lives of women and children by providing training in literacy, health care, and human rights.  Amazingly, the women were empowered to end the centuries-old tradition of female circumcision, a practice which is not only painful, but causes multiple health problems and is sometimes fatal.

Wow—how incredible that one person can change the lives of so many!  For more inspiring stories, try these books:

The boy who harnessed the wind:  creating currents of electricity and hope  by William Kamkwamba
The price of stones:  building a school for my village by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri
The dressmaker of Khair Khana:  five sisters, one remarkable family, and the woman who risked everything to keep them safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
The heart and the fist:  the education of a humanitarian, the making of a Navy SEAL by Eric Greitens
King Peggy:  an American secretary, her royal destiny, and the inspiring story of how she changed an African village by Peggielene Bartels
In my father’s country:  an Afghan woman defies her fate by Saima Wahab
Second suns:  two doctors and their amazing quest to restore sight and save lives by David Oliver Relin
Sophie Scholl:  the final days  (DVD about teenagers in a resistance movement in Nazi Germany)
The boy who dared a Young Adult book by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Candy bomber:  the story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” a children’s book by Michael O. Tunnel
Miss Moore thought otherwise:  how Anne Carol Moore created libraries for children a childrens picture book by Jan Pinborough

If the thought of changing the world is overwhelming, try these books about ordinary people who make a difference in the lives of their family or friends:

Extraordinary ordinary people:  a memoir of family by Condoleeza Rice
The prize winner of Defiance, Ohio:  how my mother raised 10 kids on 25 words or less by Terry Ryan
The other Wes Moore:  one name, two fates by Wes Moore
Saturday night widows:  the adventures of six friends remaking their lives by Becky Aikman
The Friday night knitting club by Kate Jacobs
Unlikely brothers:  our story of adventure, loss, and redemption by John Prendergast

If you read some of these books, you’ll definitely be inspired by the large and small things people can do to make a difference.

Photo courtesy of Google images