The I Make a Difference Project

The Starfish Foundation is about helping people with their emotional healing. To spread the word and acknowledge the healing of hearts, we created this project. Every gesture that a person does that shows caring for another, especially when it is unexpected, opens a heart and returns that person/starfish to sea of love (see the starfish story on our home page). That gesture is acknowledged by the giving of one of the bracelets shown below.

If You’ve Received a Bracelet

I Make a Difference WristbandFirst, thank you for making a difference in the world! The person who gave you their bracelet did so in order to acknowledge your act of paying it forward. Look at the comments below – you just might find the story about your kindness posted there! If not, feel free to add the story of your receiving it yourself.

Once You Have a Bracelet

Now you’re on a mission, if you choose to accept it (and it’s anything but impossible!):

  1. Wear your bracelet!
  2. As you walk through your world and your life, look for others who are making a difference in the world. When you see someone doing something that is healing, sharing, or caring of others–even if it seems to be a small action–acknowledge them by giving them your bracelet. While the object of most games is to end the game with the most “things,” the object if this game is to pass it on to increase the flow!
  3. Next, come back to this page, scroll to the bottom, and leave a “reply” that tells us about this person’s gesture of throwing a starfish back to the sea of love:
    1. Mention their first name and last initial.
    2. Describe what you saw them do.
    3. How did it Make a Difference?
    4. How did you feel?
    5. Thank them!

Just because you’ve given yours away doesn’t mean you can still wear one – read on!

Don’t Have a Bracelet, Yet Want to Give One?

There is no need to wait for a bracelet before giving one – this is a new program, and there aren’t that many out in the world yet! You can purchase bracelets at any time and expand the project.Donate to the Starfish Foundation and receive “I Make a Difference” bracelets: 1 for $2 donation, 6 for $12 donation, or 15 for $25 donation:

  1. Make a donation to the Starfish Foundation.
  2. In the Designation (Option) field, enter the number of bracelets and your complete mailing address. We will know by the amount of your donation how many bracelets to send to you. If you want fewer than your amount would indicate, please indicate the [number in that blank]. Example: [6] bracelets, John Public, 123 Main St, Milwaukee, WI 53211.
  3. Later, under Privacy Preferences, please choose “my full contact information.”

These steps ensure that we will be able to mail your bracelets to you. Our goal for the project is to create a world with a sea of starfish wearing purple bracelets and passing them on!

Glad to have you on board as a “Starfish Thrower!”

Patricia Clason, Founder
The Starfish Foundation

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Suzi May 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I gave a purple bracelet to a man by the name of Jerry Branski. He had a heart transplant several years ago and since then he has helped others who were in need of transplants. Today, I am at his 3rd annual bowling benefit so that his new foundation can help those who are unable to help themselves while waiting for a transplant.


lorraine January 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

I am giving a bracelet today to a man who is trusting me enough to give me a computer chair , even though I am not paying for it until the end of the month.
I feel this is very kind for a stranger to do this for me, so I feel he has made a difference in my life by showing there are good people in the world who still trust others.


Larry September 30, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Travelling back from NYC, stopped at a visitor’s rest stop in Indiana and was met by two angels, Tanya and Samantha. they cheered this road weary traveller and his daughter with their Light, Smile and wonderful loving Energy and shared some milk chocolate turtles with us. I know that they lighten the load and ease the weary of many a traveller and co workers. I have been honored to have met them and I Salute them here. GREAT BIG DIGITAL HUG TO YOU BOTH ANGELS. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR LOVING LIGHT WITH US.


Mac Davis Ngwa September 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

Every time I visit this website, I am inspired to continue making a difference. I founded a charity more than two years ago called “Make A Difference Project”. We teach morals to youths, care for people who have been abandoned because of old age or disability and recently we started giving free computer lectures to orphaned children. It gives me a great joy when I make a difference in the lives of people. And I have come to realise that whenever I sacrifice something to make somebody happy, I receive much more.
Thanks for the good work you are all doing and be assured of my continuos prayers for you.
Lot of love
Mac Davis Ngwa


evad Kram November 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

Dear Mac,
It is good to know that your project teaches morals to youths. That is what te world needs now. Morally upright youths. I pray God provides all you need to carry on this good work. Feel free to write to me if you need some printed materials on morals. God bless U brother. Evad


Mac Davis Ngwa September 6, 2010 at 10:43 am

Every time I visit this website, I am inspired to continue making a difference. I founded a charity more than two years ago called “Make A Difference Project”. We teach morals to youths, care for people who have been abandoned because of old age or disability and recently we started giving free computer lectures to orphaned children. It gives me a great joy when I make a difference in the lives of people. And I have come to realise that whenever I sacrifice something to make somebody happy, I receive much more.
Thanks for the good work you are all doing and be assured of my conyinuos prayers for you.
Lot of love
Mac Davis Ngwa


Amy Jo August 2, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I was given a bracelet today and was overcome with joy. So much that tears came to my eyes! What a wonderful thing you are doing and I can’t wait to pay it forward!


macdaviz February 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

Hello Amy,
I will love to keep min touch with somebody who is also making a difference. I live in Africa and make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged – orphans, those abandoned because of old age or disability and teaching morals to youths. It will be nice sharing our M.A.D. experiences. If you care, I will expect your mail through the above email address. Remain Blest, Mac


san July 13, 2010 at 1:27 am

Robin F. is always easy-going, welcoming, kind, and sees the best in everyone. Thanks for seeing me for who I really am, Robin… You make a difference in my life, and I’m glad you were born!
Happy Birthday, my friend!



Roger Backes July 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Young K. was generous in a situation that I experienced as “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
I had heard there was a party among a diverse group including Milwaukee area folks, and that we should byo if possible. It wasn’t possible so I asked if anyone had an extra beer.

There was a silence along with glances of discomfiture. I wasn’t going to ask again and was about to leave when Young got up, went inside & got two cold bottles & offered me my choice.
He then offered me a seat and the party resumed – with me feeling grateful for Young’s warmth and graciousness, far more than for the beer itself.

Generosity and compassion are good things and I certainly appreciated them that night from Young K.

You are a good man Young.

Roger Backes, Madison


Tom July 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm

ThankYou for this program….pay it forward….I only hope to do as much as this program does in my life time, it’s things like this that make the world a better place. Keep up the good work…and lets all make a difference !!!


Roger Backes May 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

John B of Green Bay/Ashwaubenon was generous beyond the call of normal politeness when he offered home hospitality to me over the LZ Lambeau weekend.
I had emailed John and others fishing for hospitality (i.e., not wanting to ask directly), when my Warrior brother John came through for me. Even though I didn’t ask directly, I made it abundantly clear that he represented limited options for me. Even though he had made it clear that he was very busy, and I surmised that this wasn’t part of his busy life, he generously offered anyway and served as a gracious and flexible host in accommodating me comfortably.
I bought a few Beck beers to celelbrate his type of compassionate manliness, for which I also gave him a well deserved Starfish Bracelet, because his actions fit the criteria that “Every gesture that a person does that shows caring for another, especially when it is unexpected, opens a heart and returns that person/starfish to sea of love (see the starfish story on our home page).
Thanks Brother!
Roger Backes


Jenna Staff April 15, 2010 at 5:34 am

In college I had a hard time with depression. I didn’t understand why people acted the way they did or said the things they said. All I saw in people was their worst traits, never allowing them to become more or to become human. Yet, I wanted to believe in good, I yearned for it. My ultimate goal was to become a philanthropist and work with organizations helping third world countries. I knew what I wanted to do, and did not fully understand those around me who had very different views, and to me- seemingly selfish views. Needless to say, I became a sort of hermit and tried to avoid people as much as possible.

Problem was, even hermits need jobs. I searched and searched and finally found one that seemed flexible and good for my resume. It was for a woman who had muscular dystrophy, and who also happened to live just a block from me. The moment I met her I knew my life had changed. She was so outgoing, so filled with love of life and people and things and ideas. She was amazing, and carried herself with such pride and confidence that I still find myself speechless when talking with her. Her views of how people should be in the world, how people should treat others, was exactly how I felt, and was exactly how I wanted to be. Only, she, though having struggled through so much, having to deal with so many tribulations, was the exact opposite me in her approach to the world. Instead of hiding from those who seemed foul or ignorant or rude or any terrible thing, she accepted it, opened herself up to it and tried to change whatever was wrong.

The first impression I had of my lovely friend Karen was her answering machine. Loud, long winded, blunt. She told all about her mission and what you should do if you’re calling for whatever reason. I admit I was kind of turned off at first, but then she left me with a quote I’ve been carrying since that first day and will for the rest of my life, that is, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi.

I worked for her for a year and a half, then had to leave her as I was headed for a job abroad to work with kids and to be on my way to my dream. We still talk, and I always think of her. Her and that quote of Ghandi’s. And now, it seems that it should be I who has given the bracelet, no? A very backwards and terribly silly situation, as she was the one who gave me a bracelet. I am the one who is changed forever and she thinks I’ve made a difference in her life? How amazing. People are amazing, and it was Karen who has made me believe so. I promise to now and forever be the change I wish to see, it’s my tribute to her, to my lovely Karen.


macdaviz February 18, 2011 at 10:35 am

I have learnt a good quote reading your write-up – “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Will love to share experiences with you. stay blest. Mac


Dan February 21, 2009 at 5:47 am

This sounds like such an AWESOME way to acknowledge others and support our vets… It is done in loving “giveaway” and graditude, which for many is a foreign concept. A concept that I intend wholehearted to instill in my grandson as he grows up. He’s 2 now. I also plan on purchasing a couple dozen bracelets, to start with


Donna Barth February 20, 2009 at 10:22 am

I was staffing a VJH program in Houston, TX, during the spring of 2008. There was a young man on staff, Jay, who touched my heart by his warmth and love. Jay had served time in the military and through his sharing of his military experiences touched me in a very real and sensitive way. I acknlowedge Jay for, at such a young age, fighting for my freedom and giving me a real piece of wisdom in connection with my own son.

Jay is the type of young man that I wish my own son could model after. His support and encouragement of other Vets was amazing. He truely gave of himself to the new participants of the Vets Journey Home. Thank you Jay for loving yourself, your country and your fellow Vets.


Kim Lever October 7, 2008 at 9:31 am

The third I Make a Difference bracelet that I gave was to Frank Warren. Some of you may know him as the most trusted man in America. He has a website called and has published several Postsecret books. This has changed not only my life but the life of millions of people. The fact that people are able to release their secrets anomously is such a gift to the world. Thank You Mr. Warren for your commitment to allowing us to not let our secrets rule us!!!!


Kim Lever October 7, 2008 at 9:26 am

I gave my second I Make a Difference bracelet to my Grandmother. We had lost touch for a long time and then my grandfather fell ill. During the course of his illness we found that we wanted to reconnect. Our relationship took a new form rather than grandparent and grandchild we became friends. As our friendship developed I came to realize that I could confide in her and she would keep my secrets. I also found that she was a good source of encouragement. She always tells me that she loves me wheither I get an A or an F. I just want to thank her for all the encouragement and being proud of me no matter what. Thank you Grandma for comming back into my life at a time when I needed it.


Kim Lever October 7, 2008 at 9:17 am

I gave an I Make a Difference bracelt to my best friend Shannon. She has made a huge difference in my life. We met in college and she decided to tutor me for a class that we were taking together. I passed and from there we became friends. As our friendship grew I realized that Shannon belived in me and would encourage me to do all the things that I wanted. I also realized that I could call her and she would listen if I had a problem. Shannon also taught me that it is ok to have a differing opinion and we can talk about it and no matter what we will still be friends even if we disagree. We have been friends for about 10 years now and our friendship continues to grow. I just wante to say Thank You to Shannon for being my friend and I hope that our friendship will continue to grow for the rest of our lives.


WilandLittleBilly August 26, 2008 at 10:29 am

It’s a challenge to keep giving these bracelets out AND I GLADLY ACCEPT the challenge!!! It’s a gift that keeps on giving!!!

I gave another to a co-worker, Cheryl S. who was kind enough to allow me the opportunity to “bend her ear” for almost an hour (and was empathetic enough to see me cry)! She has been taking on more responsibilities at work since the retirement of the head of her department and yet was still willing to help.

Thank you Cheryl, and “Pay It Forward!” ;o)


WilandLittleBilly August 21, 2008 at 10:33 am

The project is fun because I am now ACTIVELY seeking opportunities to “Pay It Forward” with the bracelets! I gave another one away to a special woman whose life story (past and current) mirrors my own is so many ways it is almost eerie!

The first time I heard Jenna tell a portion of journey I KNEW I had to make a soul connection to her soul! Initially, the connection happened on a psychic/telepathic/non-verbal level! We have now evolved our inter-connectedness to actually opening up to one another. For me, I have released enough of the shame, blame, guilt, and regret and Jenna is a mutual kindred spirit (if you will) in this dimension who can connect to the level of pain and anguish that I buried inside me.

Thank you, Jenna for feeling the unconditional love, the safety in my eyes, and the concern in my verbal and non-verbal communication as we relate to one another!


WilandLittleBilly August 21, 2008 at 10:16 am

Hello again! I am very inspired by this project, and I am truly taking the precept of “Paying It Forward” to heart. I was unaware that Gail B., my personal “starfish thrower” (you know, the one that noticed that I was floundering on the beach, in grave danger of surely perishing), was without a bracelet! How did I not notice?!? Well, I corrected this oversight this morning and gave her the one I was wearing.

Gail B. placed her own personal well-being aside and gave to me what I now consider the real epitomy of the gift of unconditional love. Through her act of consciousness I can truly say that I am now in a mindset of “walking the walk” that I have been giving New Age lip service to for approximately the last 30 years! The actions are becoming easier (or shall I say I am now less resistant) to continue taking because I have shifted my motivation from intellect to HEART! And it is becoming more and more apparent in my awareness of what IS!

Much love, Gail B…YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


wilandlittlebilly August 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

I gave out my first bracelet yesterday to Gwen who is an angel sent from the Universe to me. I had been having severe back pain opposite my heart for about a month. I received a flyer from a local massage place recently and I decided to call for an appointment yesterday morning. I asked the receptionist for some-one familiar with Reiki and I was referred to Gwen. I went in early to fill out the required intake information and I wrote that I wanted my massage therapist to be “Knowledgable of Eastern and Indigenous Peoples’ spirituality.” When Gwen came out to greet me with my intake paper in her hand she said to me “I’m here to be your spiritual advisor.” or words to that effect. I looked her in the eyes and asked “Are you sure?” We made a connection and she replied, “Yes, I’m sure.”

Gwen and I talked in the private massage room for a few minutes and she offered “energy work” in addition to the massage because I requested it. She said that she was born with this ability and knew her purpose. I am here to witness that the Universe does indeed listen and respond to direct requests when the requests are made in love!

The session lasted and hour and a half (I also asked for additional time), and afterwards she stated that she does not “normally” give a person at her job the gifts that she did; however since I made the request and she knew that I needed the work, she gave unconditionally from her heart!

Gwen, I give to you again the acknowlegement I gave you yesterday: “Namaste.”


Suzi August 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm

I gave a bracelet to Suzan S. who was a pharmacist at the pharmacy that I go to. Suzan is always willing to go above and beyond the scope of her job and she never makes her customers feel that they are imposing on her even when she is busy. Once, when my husband was still alive, she went to a pharmaceutical conference and, even then, she thought of how she could make things better for my husband when it came to his nutritional needs. She is definitely an angel on earth!


Larry Kilgore July 28, 2008 at 11:04 am

I gave bracelet to the two most important people in my life. My Mother and Father, Larry and Armitta Kilgore. I aknowledged them for the primary role that they have played in my life. For seeting the example and standards by which I live my life by. It is becuse of there commitment to family and community that I have a basis for how I live my life. There was a time in my life when I made decisions that were not in my best interest and they never gave up on me. They continued to support, encourage and love knowing that I would find my way. I am who I am because of them and my children are who they are because of their influence and guidance in my life. I continue to be of service in the world and to represent them in every facet of my life.




Larry Kilgore July 28, 2008 at 10:55 am

I gave my bracelet to Nikki N. She has included me in her life as an adopte dad. She is a true friend to my daughter and I have witnessed her strength, courage, determination and growth. I am blessed, honored and greatul for her love, friendship and light in my life. I LOVE YOU and I am proud and inspired by you.


Larry Kilgore July 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I gave a bracelet and an acknowledgement to my son Larry. He is a talented, smart, hardworking young man with a huge heart full of love and compassion. He is dedicated and one of my inspirations. I have been blessed to have been given the job of being his dad and I am grateful, honored and truely humbled by our relationship. My life is different and joyfilled by his presence. he is wise beyond his years and Ii have witnessed his extreme loyalty to his friends and family. I LOVE THIS YOUNG MAN. Larry I AM PROUD OF YOU. P.S. I LOVE YOU LARRY


Larry Kilgore July 13, 2008 at 3:22 pm

I gave a bracelet and an acknowledgement to Jamie. She and her family operate the the Mobil off of 164 and I-94 in Waukesha. Sha has since i met her been an example of positive, optimistic joy filled enegry and friendship. I have a great deal of respect and admiriation for her and the amazing staff. I make special trips to say hello because they are all GREAT PEOPLE. Thank you for all that you do to make others days a little brighter.


Jay Velasquez July 1, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I gave a bracelet to Juliet B for making a difference in my life through struggle and strength. She is a prime example of sacrifice for me and she is my mother.


Larry Kilgore June 28, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I gave a bracelet to Bill L. We have been friends for what seems like forever. I acknowledge him for his dedication, his strength, courage tanacity and dependabilty. He has shown me a great deal all along the way and is an example to me of compassion and authenticity of purpose.
I am honored, humbled and very Grateful to be his friend.
Thank You


Larry Kilgore June 24, 2008 at 3:11 pm

I gave three bracelets and acknowledgements to Three Amazingly Wonderful young ladies. Becky, Tonya and Stephanie. They share their friendly personaities at the Mobil Station off 164 and I-94 in Waukesha.
They are courteous, helpful and genuinely friendly. They always have a smile and kind work for the customers. and always, always make day. I have been aquanited with the for about three years. I applaud you all. Thank you for your freindship!!!


Larry June 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm

I gave my bracelet to my best friend of over thirty years. We have an incredible friendship. He is a dedicated, devoted and loyal, son, brother, dad and grandad. We have seen the good times and the not so good times and we contniue to be huge support for each other. There have been times over the years that we have lost track of each other and when we get reconnected it’s as if there is no time lost, we pick right up where we left off.
I have and always seen him as the brother that I never had. His strength, and friendship area avaluable asset and his compassion and wisdom are I believe an inspiration to other. I thank you for your friendship Jon D.


Larry Kilgore June 5, 2008 at 7:57 pm

I gave a bracelet and an acknowlegement to Ashley who Ii have had the plesaure of knowing for about a year, seems like longer. We met while she was working at a local gas station. she always seems to have a cheerful word and a friendly smile for everyone even when she might not be having the best day. For this I am grateful and blessed to know her.

Thank you Ashley for sharing your light with me and everyone that you meet.


Larry Kilgore June 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I gave my bracelet to and I am adding this comment to aknowledge Terri S. at Romans Electric I had the pleasure of being the recipient of the Excellent and Eleagant service that she delivered. She works for an electrical contracting firm on the southside of Milwaukee, I had her firm do work for me, they were timely and professional and when I went to the office to pay her, there was a hitch in the credit card process, it was expired. LOL. I felt embarrassed and extremely uncomfortable about this unfortunate result. She was very, very understanding and did everything that she could to make me comfotable and reassured me that once I had rectified the situation with the expired crd that everything would be alright. She is a Magnificent example of service, Grace and Professionalism that I do not see much of these days. I am Grateful and Honored to know her.


Jay Edgar April 3, 2008 at 9:05 am

Hi Roger:

You can purchase bracelets as described in the blog entry above, and you can pick them up from me. Since we are both in Madison, you can also buy them directly from me.

Thank you for acknowledging the folks you have!



backstad April 3, 2008 at 8:27 am

Last Sunday, I gave a bracelet to David Creswell who served as the volunteer program coordinator for the First Unitarian Society of Madison’sw recent retreat. He did so with a great humility and obvious desire to be of service.

Dave served those of us present, as well as everyone in the world, by teaching values such as awareness, generosity, and simplicity. Living according to such values are a means to personal happiness, loving relationships, and a profound connection with our beautiful blue planet whizzing us comfortably through the cosmos.

This starfish is grateful for David’s loving praxis – living his values in practice.

Roger Backes, Madison

P.S. Yes, I bought a few extra bracelets. Otherwise I’d have to wait awhile to be “caught” doing good things. Fortunately, it seems my life is filled with people who deserve acknowledgement for doing good. How do I order more bracelets?


backstad April 3, 2008 at 5:26 am

I gave my bracelet to my daughter Molly who did a small act of loving generosity while sitting next to me at the Unitarian service in Madison –
With her arm on the backrest behind me, she “petted” my back a few times as a gesture of affection. How many times do we think to let another person know we love or appreciate them through an unsolicited touch? Not enough!
Thanks for your “public display of affection” Molly.



Jay Edgar April 2, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I gave a bracelet to my boyfriend, Josh. He regularly spends individual time with two young people. It is a real treat for them, and I look forward to hearing how they benefit from his gifts!


Jay Edgar April 2, 2008 at 8:39 pm

I gave one bracelet each to Jim and Janet, who lead a course I took at my church. They really gave of themselves in many ways in this effort, and I benefited from their gifts!


Jay Edgar April 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm

My friend Molly has a friend that she supports with lots of love and regard, even when it might be challenging to do so. That really inspired me, so I gave her my bracelet!


SandyAndyNeitzke March 30, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Steve C., Owner of Northwoods Motor Cars, was kind and trusting enough to allow the Power Of Team course participants use his facilities—- no questions asked! Our team was to provide a service in exchange for money, create a plan, a monetary goal and execute it within 24 hours. Something Steve didn’t know is that we set our goal at $600, surpassed the goal, and gave the money to a non-profit charitable organization. This organization is committed to creating a safe world.

Thank you Steve, for making a difference in our world and in those who will be touched by our donation!

You Make a Difference!


StarThrower March 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm

The Center for Creative Learning has a weekend emotional intelligence intensive for sexual abuse survivors, staffed by volunteers who have had that experience. On March 7-9, 2008, seventeen people gave thirty hours each of volunteer time so that 10 students could do their healing work. Some of them drove hours to be there for the weekend, from Minneapolis, Madison and Peshtigo, WI!

These people opened their hearts and shared the pain so that the 10 students could feel safe, understood and supported.

It is truly remarkable that these volunteers love so much.

Because of the sensitive nature of that weekend, the volunteers’ names will not appear here. May they all be blessed for their generosity of spirit and commitment!


Roger Backes March 11, 2008 at 1:59 pm

I gave my bracelet to Megan B of Sheboygan who came to the graduation Sunday night. When I asked her who she knew that was graduating, she said no one.

I asked if she came regularly, and she said no.

So I asked why she had come, she said just to celebrate and support those graduating and the organization, including the volunteers.

To me, that sounded like she was “doing something that is healing, sharing, and caring of others” and deserving of the small acknowledgement the bracelet represents.

Though small gestures, the bracelet, and Megan’s generosity, represent the spirit of the Starfish!

Love is all around.



Jay Edgar March 10, 2008 at 8:04 am

I gave out my first bracelet last night, and I could have given it years ago, had this program existed. My friend, Larry K, has always been an example of giving love unconditionally. I see him treat everyone with which he comes into contact with great caring and regard. Larry helped me learn to overcome my own fear, and love unconditionally myself.

Thank you Larry!


StarThrower March 1, 2008 at 1:55 pm

A special thank you to Jay Edgar (our site host and technology wizard) and George Lottermoser (our web designer and videographer for the energy and love that they put into making this a reality. They Make a Difference!


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