Each year on the fourth Saturday of October, Make A Difference Day, we reflect on ways that each of us – the collective “you” and the collective “we”, together – can affect positive change in our communities. When so many BIG issues feel out of our immediate control as they play out on the global and national stages, it can be easy to forget for a moment that WE have the power to make meaningful changes right here in our own communities. In fact, those little positive changes that we can all influence together just might be even more impactful in our day-to-day lives!
This year Make a Difference Day is October 23 and we’d like to share with you four powerful ways that you can Make A Difference right here in Chester County (and beyond!).
FIND YOUR PASSION, SUPPORT A CAUSE. While we happen to think that food insecurity is a pretty important issue (OK we’re biased!), we’re thrilled to be in great company here in Chester County with a number of wonderful organizations who work to support all sorts of causes. It’s easy to be a helper in your community when you can identify a passion or interest and find a way to donate some of your time to it. Whether your passion is helping to address food insecurity, homelessness, animal cruelty, domestic violence, drug abuse, mental health, water quality, historic preservation, or so much more – there’s a place for you to help here in Chester County! Become an advocate or a volunteer and you’ll be Making A Difference!
Here are some impactful ways to support the Chester County Food Bank right now:
- Host a virtual food drive
- Color Some Kindness to bring a little joy to our Senior Food Box recipients
- Visit our Fresh2You Mobile Market
- Make a small commitment (as little as the cost of just one lunch or iced coffee a month!) to create a BIG impact by becoming a Beyond Hunger 365 sustaining supporter
EAT LOCAL. Take it a step further and make an effort to source more of your diet locally – it’s easier than you might think! We are so fortunate here in Chester County to be surrounded by rich soil, clean waterways, and a robust agricultural history (still in the making!). Still, farms and farmland are on the decline in Chester County, and having support from local consumers is key in making sure that we don’t lose this important industry. The Chester County Food Bank is proud that 39% of the fresh food we distribute (which is half of our total 3.5 million pound food distribution) is Pennsylvania grown.
Here are some ways that you can support our local farmers and the businesses who support them:
- Stop by our Fresh2You Mobile Market – on the road now through Nov. 19th for their regular season!
- Browse the Chester County Local Farm Products Guide
- Follow along with the completion of the Ag Economic Development Draft Plan to learn about the current state of agriculture in Chester County, and how you can get involved in supporting our ag. industry
SHOP LOCAL. Supporting local businesses is one of the most impactful ways to invest in our communities and in our neighbors who live, work, and play alongside us. As consumers, we can create a positive impact by directing our dollars to the people, places, goods, or services that help to make our communities better.
With the holiday season upon us, consider checking out some of our local vendors:
- Craft & Mercantile holiday market (November 19th; Eagleview Town Center)
- Growing Roots Farmers Markets (weekly markets in Downingtown, Eagleview, Malvern, West Reading)
- Shop Small Business Weekend (Thanksgiving weekend). Our local Chambers of Commerce are a great resource for shopping small.
GET OUT THE VOTE. Local elections can be even more important than national elections when it comes to issues that impact our day-to-day lives. Local legislators are elected to act as our ground-level advocates and should represent our collective voice at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Make sure that you research candidates early and use your power as a registered voter to elect legislators who will fight for the issues that you care about.
Chester County Municipal General Elections are coming up on Tuesday, November 2nd. The voter registration window has closed, but you can request a mail-in or absentee ballot until October 26th. We’ve included some helpful information below – tell your friends, tell your neighbors, to get out the vote!
- Municipal sample ballots
- Chester County polling places
- Request a mail-in or absentee ballot BEFORE OCT. 26th
- Find your voter registration status OR register to vote to make sure that you’re ready for the next election!
How will YOU Make A Difference? Let us know! #makeadifferenceChesco
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
—Lauren Van Dyk, Volunteer Manager | Chester County Food Bank