Making Change Personal

How do you define social responsibility? I've asked that question before; this time I have 30 answers, 30 people from all walks of life who took what they had – a little or a lot – and used it to help others.

individuals, Major League Baseball, social change, social responsibilityThe 30 have been selected by Major League Baseball as All-Stars Among Us. They include Peter Brady, a Connecticut resident who started raking leaves for senior citizens. Today his Handy Dandy Handy Man Ministry has 1,000 volunteers helping 400 seniors in seven towns.

Doing what he can with what he had, Brady made a difference in the lives of the seniors and the volunteers who, I'm betting, get a lot of satisfaction from helping out.

Brady is an example of just doing something because you can. Others among the 30 exemplify the phenomenum that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger ... or inspires you to set up a foundation or a nonprofit. Tim and Corina Hannah lost their 2-year-old to congenital heart disease; they started a nonprofit to help other parents whose children have heart problems – Jamie's Heart.

Albert Lexie shines shoes at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He donates 100 percent of his tips to the Free Care Fund that ensures that every child can afford treatment at the hospital. He's contributed $150,000 so far.

Some of the winners feed the homeless, others raise money, still others help injured soldiers find a home.

No commonality as to age, gender or economic status.

The common factor is the realization that change begins with each one of us doing what we can, with what we have, where we are.

Read their profiles. You'll find, as I did, that even a seemingly insignificant talent – shining shoes – can be used to change the world.

Don't wait for a tragedy to motivate you: What can you do now, with what you have?

Who do you know who has made a difference in his or her community?

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