We often hear the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”, and no words ring truer during National “Make a Difference to Children” Month. While parents play a large role in their children’s lives, there are also many other adults, such as aunts and uncles, neighbors, friends and mentors that also help build positive futures for children of all ages. Research shows the relationships children have with other adults are vitally important in helping them grow their sense of community and self-worth. Additionally, having positive relationships with other adults, in addition to their mother and father, has been proven to help children build resiliency, develop social skills and make better life choices. All it takes is a couple minutes to make all the difference in the world to a child. And the best part is there are a million ways to show you care. Whether you choose to pick up a book to read to a toddler, tutor once a week at a local school, or play a board game with the teen next door, you will be making a huge difference to that young person. For those of you willing to invest a little more time, you have the potential to be “the difference” in a child’s life. Becoming a big brother or big sister for a child desperately in need of a positive role model can be the difference between that child going to college or dropping out of high school, agreeing to mentor a youth at your workplace could provide them with a sense of direction and open career opportunities that they might have never dreamed possible, and volunteering as a coach or scout leader could help them discover a lifelong passion. Talk to any successful adult and the odds are they can point to one single, caring adult who played an important part in helping them realize their dream. Wouldn’t it be great if that person were you? While July may be the official “Make a Difference to Children” month, at the Department of Children and Families we dedicate ourselves to positively impacting the lives of Wisconsin’s children every day. We invite you to heed this call to action and join us in this important mission not only this month, but throughout the year.