You've probably heard this one. The Starfish Story, author unknown:
A man was jogging down the beach after a major storm had just come through the area. He was dismayed by the huge number of starfish that the storm had washed up on the beach. He thought there was nothing he could do because of the immense numbers. As he continued down the beach he saw a woman throw something into the water. As he got closer, he saw the woman bend over, pick up a starfish and was about to throw it in the water. The man asked "Why are you doing that? There are thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly make a difference."
The woman looked at the starfish, threw is back into the water and said, "I made a difference to that one didn't I?
One starfish at a time we can make a difference. As Autism Awareness month draws to a close I wanted to acknowledge all the people who touch Sam's life, making a difference to him, and to our family. I know his teachers come here on occassion so this will be a surprise to them. To Maureen, Julie, and Dave, thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm for making Room 10 a success. You know our boys so well and constantly try to offer them the best in real life experiences in addition to their academics. Over the years I have had to offer Sam bribes to do certain things and the other day when I took him to the doctor my bribe was he could go back to school. Now that is cool. He loves it there. To Mrs. Gabler, Miss Rosie, Mrs. G, Mrs. B, Mr. O, Mr. C, all the staff at Schor, and especially the buddies, thank you for loving Sam like we do. It was a proud moment when the Room 10 boys sang the Star Spangled Banner at the school concert. In my heart I was thinking "Look at these Starfish, what a difference you all have made to embrace diversity. You applaud them singing on stage tonight, but you also act kind to them in the halls, and make school a place they want to be". One of many things I'm grateful for.
Several times, for end-of-the-year teacher gifts I have made something with a starfish and enclosed the story above. You don't have to have a special needs child to see the meaning in it. Do you have someone who has made a difference in your life? Share the story, thank them, and then pay-it-forward by making a difference to someone, somewhere, somehow, soon.