Paula Opp's Sample Writing


by Paula Opp

How can one person make a difference? How can one person change the world? One person can with one change at a time. There are so many different methods to initiate that change and YOU only have to choose ONE.

Recycle Program

When you think of a newspaper, you might picture your mom reading it on a Sunday morning, with a cup of coffee, and smiling as she hands you the comic strip section. What happens to that newspaper when you both finish reading it? In our house we stack them for recycling. We usually take them to the recycling bins at my school. The entire school recycles paper instead of throwing it into the garbage. The school receives a small amount of money for the recycling that it collects. This money is used to buy supplies and pencils for students who do not have the ability to purchase them. This helps eliminate paper waste from being added to landfills. One small change can make a difference.

School Vegetable Garden

Students are also beginning a school vegetable garden. The east entrance yard is filled with many decorated, one foot by one boxes of green. Pairs of sixth grade students were given the task of building and decorating a planter box. The Teams were then allowed to choose up to two types of flowers, fruits or vegetables to grow from seeds. The seeds were germinated in the classroom and then replanted into the planters. The student pairs are then assigned days and times to check on the entire garden during class. As the students watch their plants grow, they are making plans on what to do with their fruit and vegetable when they are harvested. Many students wanted to research ways to donate to a local food banks. Can and dry goods are easy to donate, but what about homegrown produce? The fresh fruits and vegetables would help add to the healthier food choices. One small difference can make a change.


Volunteering yourself and your time is fun way to bring about change. There are so many different volunteer opportunities within our community. During the summer, the library is always looking for adults and students to read aloud and tutor. The summer reading program gives school age and younger children educational activities to keep their minds active during the break from school. There are also several assisted living facilities that also need volunteers. Families are often unable to visit every day and volunteers are asked to participate in a variety of activities with the men and women living at the centers. Playing board games or cards, reading and talking with are just a few of the ways to help.

Clean Neighborhood

Cleaning and picking up trash around your neighborhood is also a great way to make a difference. Choose one day a month to get some of your friends together to pick up trash and debris around where you live. Trash bags and gloves are the only tools you will need. Start with one street at a time. You might choose different areas every month. In my community, we have one Saturday in the fall where people from different churches, youth groups, businesses, schools and families get together to clean up larger areas around the town. They also plant trees and flowers. It is also an opportunity to collect old oil, tires, paint, and electronics for proper disposal and recycling. It is a gathering to clean up and bring unity to our community.

Why Change?

As one person begins to make a change, the world can change. One person can make a difference. All of the small changes will soon become bigger changes. When one person inspires another person, and another, and another…nothing can stop the change. Are YOU ready to create change?