If you want to make a difference in your community, all you need is passion and organization, Peter says. "Pause sometime today and think, 'What is the one idea that really ignites me, that really wants me to make a change in my workplace, in my school, in my nation?'" he says. Peter talks with several people from around the country about how they are making a difference in their communities.
Laura and her dad George organized youth in Chicago to collect food for the city's homeless. Their effort started in 1997, when Laura was just 13, and blossomed into a thriving community action effort for teens who wanted to help the homeless. The group is no longer operational, but Laura says she learned a lot from the experience. "[The homeless] gave me way more than I ever gave them," Laura says. "They taught me not only to have more empathy for people and to understand people in different situations, [but] they [also] taught me how to be a leader," she says.
Doris "Granny D" Haddock is 98 years old, but she isn't retiring from political activism any time soon. In 1999, Doris walked across America to talk to voters about the importance of removing "soft" money from political campaigns. In 2003, she drove around the country, encouraging women and minorities to register to vote.
Don suffered from alcoholism and became addicted to methamphetamine as a young man. His recovery was difficult, but now, decades later, Don says he's trying to save young people in his home state of Oregon from the meth epidemic. He started a website to educate schoolchildren about ways to prevent drug abuse. "I am teaching children how to say no," he says.
Tyrone and Mario grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but say the community they love is deteriorating because of gun violence, teen pregnancy and other issues. The pair is putting together a team of committed people to work with families in the area and intervene when teens start to go astray. "We have so much passion for [Lancaster], and we see it going by the wayside, and we are not going to let [that happen]," Tyrone says.
Candye started an organization called Give-it-4ward after being inspired by Oprah's Pay It Forward Challenge. Candye says she collects money and organizes people in her community to help local families in need. "If you can't go out and physically do this, you can find an organization where maybe you can give a monetary donation or give of your time," she says.