Difference Maker Intro

Simple Acts of Kindness Make a Difference 

Nominate Someone You Know for the Good Work They Do

VUE Magazine wants to know who’s making a difference in your world. Maybe you’ve been impressed by the kid down the street who volunteers to rake leaves for the elderly couple who live next door. Perhaps there’s a woman in your church who volunteers her time on her only day off to serve food at a local community kitchen. You might even admire a co-worker who volunteers his time, outside of normal work duties, to organize a collection each year to sponsor a child at Christmas.

It’s often the little things that make the biggest impact in our Western Kentucky communities. It’s the people who commit these simple acts of kindness who transform the lives of those around them. While most people who do good things don’t seek recognition, we still find their stories inspiring. That inspiration often ignites a movement, which leads others to join in the efforts to make our communities happier, healthier places to live.

VUE wants to honor the people who contribute through generous acts of kindness, people who never ask for a pat on the back or even a thank you. That’s why we’ve partnered with West Kentucky Garage Builders and Socially Present to invite our readers to nominate a person who is truly a Difference Maker in your community.

Anyone can be nominated for a Difference Maker Award. The only requirement is that nominees be persons who are making an impact on the life or lives of those in the community in which they live. The service the nominee renders must be performed outside of the normal scope of his or her job. In other words, Difference Makers are not being paid by an area non-profit or church to do the kind things that they do. They simply do these things because they want to make a difference in the lives of others.

“When we started VUE magazine we wanted to do something different with our publication, something that no other magazine was striving to do at the time,” Carolyn Raney, President of VUE Magazine, says. “We have always used the magazine to applaud the generous work done by area non-profits, but launching the Difference Maker program was a way for us to thank those individuals who do good things without any recognition at all.”

Each month, a winner will be selected from the list of nominees. West Kentucky Garage Builders will present the winner with a $250 check and VUE will share the Difference Maker’s story in our magazine. Digital storytellers at Socially Present will produce a video each month, telling the story of what makes each winner so special to the community. We’ll share that video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and in the VUE e-newsletter.

After a year, our 12 nominees will be honored guests at a banquet at which one grand prize winner will receive $2,500 for himself and $2,500 to be donated to a charity of his or her choice.

“Every day I encounter people who don’t get recognized for the good things they do and I wanted to be part of a program that gave something back to those individuals,” Trendon Burnett, owner of West Kentucky Garage Builders, says. “When Carolyn and her team at VUE presented the initial idea for the Difference Maker Award I liked it immediately and signed on because I just wanted to be a part of what they are doing with the magazine. They really are making a difference in Western Kentucky.”

Trendon wasn’t the only business owner who was enthusiastic about making this project happen. Socially Present’s President, Jonas Neihoff, also wanted to be part of making a difference in the community.

“People think they need a lot of money to make a difference, but it really is more simple than that. Being a Difference Maker is about being an individual who is making an impact through simple things like mowing a neighbor’s yard or driving an elderly neighbor to the grocery store once a week,” Jonas says.

West Kentucky Garage Builders, VUE Magazine and Socially Present all hope that the Difference Maker program will encourage people to thank those who are doing kind deeds around them. They also hope to foster a spirit of generosity that will motivate others to become more involved in making a difference in their neighborhoods, as well.

“Big things come out of simple acts,” Jonas says. “Each of the people who are nominated for this award has a unique story that we have the privilege of telling through our videos. It’s our way to give something back to the community, as well.”

If you would like to nominate a Difference Maker, go to www.inthevue.com and fill out a nomination form.

“We’re excited to launch this program,” VUE Operations Manager Maggie Armon says. “There are so many unsung heroes out there and we just want to tell them how much we appreciate what they do.”

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