Get involved with Make a Difference Day: Our View

6:00 PM, Oct. 18, 2013  |  Comments
Make a Difference Day is Oct. 26.
Make a Difference Day is Oct. 26.
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Make a Difference Day has become a nationwide event, a day we spend volunteering to help make our communities better. The individual acts people do on Make a Difference Day are small - raking leaves, helping elderly or disable community members - may be small, but together they really do have an impact. As a community, when we volunteer to help others, we do make a difference in other people's lives.

Besides the good that volunteers do each year on Make a Difference Day, the other hope is that the event will show people that volunteering in your community is easy and can be fun. There are volunteer opportunities at many different agencies all year long. With any luck, Make a Difference Day will be only one of many times in the next year that people take the time to give back to the community.

The event was created by USA Weekend Magazine - the glossy insert in weekend editions of more than 800 newspapers across the country - in 1992. USA Weekend, which is published by News-Herald Media's parent company, Gannett, has had a massive reach for decades, and the event was a way of harnessing the power of a whole bunch of people working together in sometimes-small ways that add up to something big.

We're proud of the way Make a Difference Day has grown. And we're proud of all the volunteers in this community who give their time to participate. It makes a difference.

This year's event is Oct. 26, and it's a great opportunity to get involved. Visit, a site sponsored by the Marshfield Area United Way, and click on MADD signup. Call 715-384-9992 for more information.

Microchipping pets worth a look

Reuniting pets with owners is the dream for shelter workers and volunteers.

But it doesn't happen often, despite the option to microchip a pet inexpensively.

The Marshfield Area Pet Shelter, or MAPS, will host microchip clinics from 9 a.m. to noon today and every Saturday through November at Marshfield Mall. MAPS will debut new mini microchips, which are a third the size of a regular chip, and will be more comfortable for smaller dogs and cats. The cost is $15.

Some pet owners don't believe they need to chip their pets. But even the best-behaved, indoor cat can be spooked. A dog can slip a collar or leash or escape a fenced yard. Collars and ID tags can be lost. But a microchip embedded just under the skin - a regular one is smaller than a grain of rice - can help a pet be reunited with its owners.

We're naturally proud of MAPS for offering this service. Clark County Humane Society also offers pet microchipping for $15, but it might not be as convenient as taking your pet to the mall. Make this investment of time and a little money. It could mean your lost pet will be found and returned to you.

Program tackles sexual assault

A program in Stratford this week taught teens to "Ask First" and "Respect the Answer." The safe dating practices and sexual assault awareness program was created by Mike Domitrz 22 years ago after his sister was raped. He has presented his program around the world at high schools, colleges and military installations.

"The students overwhelming say this is a huge issue. I get comments from them that this is happening all the time," Domitrz said. "Often times, parents think it's not happening in their community, but you come and sit in the audience, and students will tell you how often it's happening, and it's scary.

"They now have the skills to stop that," he said.

It might not be an easy topic to tackle, but it's important for young people to learn to ask - even for a kiss. "If you can't ask a question, then maybe you aren't ready. If you make a move on someone without asking, it forces that person to defend themselves. When it comes to dating, that's messed up," Domitrz said.

We're naturally proud of Stratford school leaders for bringing this program to the community.

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports