We Made a Difference on National Make a Difference Day!

The underlying theme of Adventures in Voluntourism is to make a difference – and we did that on October 28th on National Make A Difference Day.

Having held a board position with the PACE Center for Girls Broward for quite some time now, it was only natural that I’d want to spend Make A Difference Day making a difference with the girls I love most.

We decided to celebrate by creating a service project with the girls that would give them a better understanding of how good it truly feels to do something that leaves a lasting impact. For those of you who don’t know, PACE Center for Girls is an amazing nonprofit organization that serves at-risk girls by giving them an opportunity for a better future though education, counseling, and advocacy. The programs provided by PACE are not just life-changing – they are life-saving for the young women who participate in them.

The theme of the day was “Plant a Seed,” which refers to the actual action of planting a seed (which we would do later in the day) as well as the concept of setting a goal and taking the steps to achieve your goals.

Jeff Jacob with the Song Team kicked off the day by leading the girls in an activity designed to help them reflect on the struggles they experience in day-to-day life and how they can overcome these challenges to be successful.  Jeff is an amazing songwriter and musician who spent over 17 years in Nashville working with major artists. In 2011 he founded The Song Team, which combines his two passions – song-writing and professional development. After an hour and a half session, the girls, led by Jeff, finished and performed a full song, set to guitar music that Jeff played. (I’ve included the song lyrics at the end of this post.) After Jeff finished, I led the girls through an activity where they each identified the seeds they wanted to plant for themselves based on their individual goals.  Their responses were very heartfelt and honest.

We were very privileged to have Miguel Pilgram of The Pilgram Group join us for lunch – not only did he share a very inspiring and personal story with the girls about his life, struggles, and successes, he also sponsored our lunch by providing his New York Wings & Subs food truck. The girls were very appreciative of both!

We spent our time together after lunch planting seeds – literally. Adventures in Voluntourism purchased clay pots, soil, and small plants for the girls and local artist April Kirk (also Executive Director of the Historic Stranahan House Museum) generously donated paints and brushes. The girls each received a pot and had the opportunity to decorate the post however they liked. Once done, they received potting soil and chose a plant – and then planted their flower to take home and keep.

The point of all of this was to prove what I believe so deeply – it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you have or don’t have – giving back is the glue that brings us together in times of happiness, times of sadness, times of uncertainty or times of success, and reminds us that we’re all just here to leave an impact of some sort.

Travel with Purpose,

Jené Kapela