History: "The Founder's Dream"

By: Helice "Sparky" Bridges

Imagine people of every age, race and religion living, working and learning in communities where they are appreciated, respected and loved. Imagine that each is valued for their uniqueness and encouraged to fulfill their dreams knowing that Who They Are Makes A Difference.

In 1980, Helice “Sparky”? Bridges, a successful business woman and mom of two fabulous pre-teen sons, decided to volunteer for the San Diego Hunger Project so she could make a difference. At a meeting she learned that every day 21 children die of starvation. Helice was deeply moved by this organization’s commitment to end world hunger and immediately volunteered as the co-chairperson. She worked alongside generous volunteers from every walk of life who served without wanting anything in return.

This was a whole new world for her. Service brought her incredible joy. In the next eight months she served over fifty thousand children and adults, teaching them ways that they could end world hunger. It was during that time that she discovered another type of hunger; people starving for recognition. Many people took Helice aside and said, “I’m just one person. I really don’t think I matter. I feel overwhelmed in my own life.”? So Helice set out to find an easy way for people to know that they made a difference. She invented a Blue Ribbon with the words “Who I Am Makes A Difference”?™ inscribed in gold and a 10-Step Blue Ribbon Acknowledgement Ceremony.

She began to gather kids, parents, grandparents and business people to her home and taught them how to use her Blue Ribbon Ceremony. She gave each of them Blue Ribbons and asked them to acknowledge the people in their lives and return the following week to share their experiences. With the help of this team over 35,000 people were acknowledged in the next three months. In addition, Helice created a tradition that every person honored receives two additional Blue Ribbons so they could honor others.

When Helice founded Difference Makers International in 1983, people throughout the world began to  want to purchase the Blue Ribbons and invite Difference Makers International to teach acknowledgement programs in their schools, universities, organizations, churches, military bases and businesses. The power of the Blue Ribbon Ceremony has included: averts teen suicide, heals broken relationships, eradicates bullying and helps kids and adults feel appreciated where they live, work and learn.

As of the year 2010, the “Who I Am Makes A Difference"™ Blue Ribbon message has impacted over 30 million people worldwide and has been translated into 12 languages. Helice Bridges, now affectionately known as “Sparky, ”?  and our Difference Makers Trainers travel the world teaching youth and adult leaders how to create a Blue Ribbon community, country and world.

Sparky's dream is that every man, woman and child on Planet Earth receives a “Who I Am Makes A Difference?™ with no one left out. No dream can ever be achieved alone. Help us jump Difference Makers International's goal  so that all 307,450,000 people in America are honored by the year 2020… soon people throughout the world will honor people in their countries. Make a difference today! Start a Blue Ribbon Campaign in your school, church, neighborhood, business and community.

Don’t let the critics and disbelievers beat you down, tell you it is impossible, that it can’t be done. When times get tough, hold your head high because Who You Are Makes A Difference. Remember those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones who do.  MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY!