Something small

Tutoring is something small that has great results

“It started with something small.” Last week, in our Daily Herald article, Jim Evans (former mayor of Orem, COO of Xactware, and member of United Way of Utah County’s Board of Directors) described the impact that something small can have on the community. Xactware is known for its community engagement, and great things are happening because its employees are getting involved. This year, Xactware started a new partnership with Traverse Mountain Elementary—a partnership that started with something small. “We discovered that Traverse Mountain Elementary School was having problems with the sound system they used in their school theater productions, and we were happy to help!”

From that small beginning, the relationship between the two organizations has grown. Volunteers from Xactware have helped at big community events at the school, including races. They also come in to the school each week to read with and tutor students. They are helping not just the students in the school, but the community at large. Tutors, parents, students, and teachers are all benefiting from that relationship. Something great has come out of something small.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the Hanukkah celebration for many people. The story of Hanukkah, for me, is a powerful illustration of the impact of something small. According to the story, after a hard-fought battle with Greek soldiers over 2,000 years ago, Jewish leaders reclaimed their independence and religious freedom. As part of their religious ceremony of rededication, the leaders lit the seven candles of the temple menorah. However, there was only enough oil to keep the candles lit for one night. Miraculously, the oil that was meant to last one night lasted for eight nights—keeping the candles burning until more oil could be prepared. Something small became something great; an inadequacy became a miracle.

At this time of year, stress levels run high. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the holiday season. It’s easy to focus just on getting through the preparations and the parties. It’s easy to think that the little things we do don’t have an impact on our community. But the truth is, small things are powerful. Something as simple as helping out with a faulty sound system can lead to life-changing relationships between organizations in our community. Reading to your children every day, even for just fifteen minutes, can change the course of their futures by giving them the gift of literacy. Even simply talking about books can impact someone else’s life for the better. Your daily decisions, as small as they may seem, are making an impact. You are contributing to something great.

This holiday season, and all seasons of the year, let’s remember the importance of the small things. Together, we can make our community remarkable.

For some ideas of how to make a big impact doing something small, click here and here.