Acknowledgment says …

It stands to reason that Acknowledging the Greatness in Others Not Only Improves the Recipient’s Life, It Improves Your Life too!

Making a Difference One Person At A Time

Passing the baton …

Today, I want to share with you a powerful activity I created called the GREATNESS EXERCISE. It’s one of my all-time favorites and I always use it when I find myself in front of a group of people who have no idea who I am or why they should care, let alone want to be there at all!

Sound familiar? 

Like some of the classrooms and boardrooms you walk into!

When I first started speaking for National Seminars Group on their full-day Seminar, Powerful Communication Skills for Women, I had a daunting task ahead of me. I had to keep their engagement levels as high on Monday as I did on Friday.

Over the span of two years, I spoke to over 20,000 people. That’s right, 20,000!  I’ve used it with educational and corporate groups, and just recently, I even had the opportunity to do the exercise and wristband exchange with my son’s football team.  Their energy levels started at 3-5 and within 5 minutes they were at a 10+.  Talk about a natural high!

So, buckle up, because I’m about to walk you through my beloved greatness exercise step by step. And trust me, it’s going to be worth it.


by Mary Reynolds, TurnAround Specialist

STEP 1:  On a scale of 1-10 – 10 being the greatest what is your energy level right now?

STEP 2: Think of someone who you think is great.  Think of three adjectives to describe what’s great about them.  Share this with the person sitting next or near to you.  **Did you know that you can’t see greatness in another if you don’t already possess it yourself?**

STEP 3:  Now think of three adjectives to describe what’s great about you.  When you have three, hold up your hand.

STEP 4:  Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to or near to you by your greatness (not by your name).  Take turns. **Bring up two volunteers to walk the group through how to do this first**

STEP 5:  On a scale of 1-10 – 10 being the greatest what is your energy level right now?

STEP 6:  Hand out wristbands to everyone and tell them not to put them on yet.

STEP 7:  Tell them that now that you know what’s great about the person next or near to you, you have the words to acknowledge them for the difference they make in the world as you place their “I Make A Difference” Wristband on their wrist.

STEP 8:  Now that they are officially Difference Makers, go to the board and write:  When _______ happens, I will be a positive Difference Maker and do _______________ instead.  Do 5-10 of these fill in the blanks and you will end up with your group’s very own Difference Maker’s Creed.

A 30-Second Way To Acknowledge Greatness in Others in Order to Energetically Connect and Uplift Students, Parents, Peers & Community

 For a Planned Event I Make A Difference® 3-Step Acknowledgment

Step 1: Each person receives one ‘I Make A Difference’ wristband to give to the person sitting behind him or her, and so on around the room, saying out loud and with eye contact if you can: “I want you to know that you Make A Difference by the way you______.”

Step 2: Tell them that they can wear it every day, and when they are having a tough day, to simply rub their finger over the words on the wristband to remind them that they do make a difference because someone told them so.

Step 3: In the spirit of the NY Teacher’s Pay It Forward acknowledgment story, give each person 4-5 more wristbands to put on their wrist (or to keep in their pocket, purse or briefcase) to wear until they find people who have made a difference in their lives that they can pass the extra wristbands on to saying why and how those people have made a difference in their lives, going through steps 1 & 2.

For Random Acts of Acknowledgment
I Make A Difference® 3-Step Acknowledgment

Step 1: Notice when someone has just provided you with great service or random kindness: Ask them for a moment of their time to acknowledge them.

Step 2: Tell them how much you appreciate their kindness, help and/or service: Take out a wristband from you pocket and say: This is a Wristband that says I Make A Difference® and I want to give it to you today because you really have made a difference to me in the last few minutes and here’s why_________.

Step 3: Respect their choice to receive your gift: Ask if they will accept your gift…when they say YES, then give them the wristband. Then give them 3 more wristbands to Pay It Forward to others.

Also ask for permission to give them a hug. If you can see they are not instantly open to this – or comfortable with this – simply smile and tell them that you hope they have a great rest of the day because they’ve really made your day.

Always acknowledge the best in others and yourself, and the world will always change for the better before your very eyes.
– Mary Robinson Reynolds

Hello, fellow PTA Members, School Faculty and Staff,

As the former PTA President of Ford Middle School in Allen, Texas and the initiator of the “Make A Difference Week” concept two years ago, I can tell you the activities during this week altered the energy in the school, as random acts of kindness filled the halls and expressions of appreciation and acknowledgement were the priority.

The inspirational videos – one of which was Mary’s Make A Difference with the Power of Acknowledgment Movie – that the students silently watched with emotion, made a huge impact, and the stories related directly to the activities that were asked of the students throughout the week. 

I have observed troubled students transformed from the power of “Make A Difference Week” as they came to life by the simplest acknowledgement of their good nature from their teachers.

The purpose of this week is to demonstrate to the students new ways of making a difference in our world. These next generations are our future leaders, and the world is greatly depending on them to create a more peaceful coexistence for humanity. It’s crucial for kids to understand the important role they play in the world, and it’s up to us to remind them. “Make A Difference Week” is a fun-filled week that encourages students to be the “highest vision they have of themselves,” to bring out the good in others, and to practice the power of acknowledgement, appreciation and kindness. 

One week can truly make the difference in our world by impacting the lives of our children, as we empower them to be the positive role models and community heroes for the generations that follow. 

Now this amazing, nationally-recognized educator – Mary Robinson Reynolds – has taken “Make A Difference Week” to the next level.

I highly recommend her 9 Weeks to a Make A Difference Year: Building a Safe, Inclusive, Highly Productive, Classroom Community Online Program created to build a synergistic culture during any 9 Weeks within the school year as a way to create a tradition in building a caring and compassionate community of young adults in your school.

Please pass this email along to your Programs chairpersons.

Angel Carlton 
PTA President, Ford M.S., Allen, TX

As the students in each class returned the second day, there was an excited buzz in the classroom, the atmosphere was changed.

The response was hands waving in the air and saying “Yes, we can.”

That day as they returned to school having experienced giving their I Make A Difference wristband with affirmative words to someone, you could sense that they indeed did believe they could, and were going to, make a difference.

-Jeanie Hershey, LMFT, LCPC

I have started the program with my peer mentoring kids and its going phenomenal. The more I teach the material, the more  I love it! 

Vikki Johnston
Peer Mentor Program (PMP) Coordinator
Omega Community Services
Wyoming Public Schools, MICHIGAN

I’m excited to inform you of our awesome Make a Difference Kickoff which was held on Friday, September 13. We rolled it out with Kinder-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th and 6th, 7th and 8th assemblies. The students and staff loved the messages! It is so amazing to see their I Make A Difference blue wristbands throughout the building! Sincerest thanks to you and your program!”
Nadine Garcia’ Montoya
Pueblo City School Dist

“We were experiencing a very challenging time within the organization, and it was important for us to recognize those people who have truly helped us make a difference in what we do and how we do it.

Mary Robinson Reynolds’ ‘I Make A Difference’ Wristbands were a very powerful and meaningful way for us to express our gratitude for their contributions. The process had amazing results in people’s attitudes.”

– Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chairman of BNI, Business Networking International, as well as a New York Times best-selling author.

“The Acknowledgment Movie with the wristband ceremony was a HUGE hit today! Yeah! Thanks.”

– Suzanne Steele, Balanced Wellness, LLC

“I learned something the other day: the word ‘listen’ when you change the letters spells ‘silent’. Acknowledging someone is truly about listening to your heart first, then speaking out the appreciative things you are thinking second. Thank you.”

– Terri Stanganelli

“Thank you for doing what you are doing. You do make a difference. A box of Kleenex isn’t enough. Your Make A Difference Movies are so moving, they touched my heart and opened my eyes.

In a world of ‘what more can I get’ I see the greater value in ‘what can I give’ . I have two young girls who will each receive a letter of acknowledgement and appreciation when they get home from school today. Thank you for inspiring me to inspire them.”

– Barbara-Jean Moxsom
Author, Cartoonist, Producer, Director, Playwright

“Thank you for this encouragement. Yesterday was a very hard day filled with hopelessness. I am holding on and have to have internal fight to get through all of what I am facing. Your Make A Difference with the Power of Acknowledgment Movie gave me hope, something to hang onto. I will be watching this through the day when the hopelessness returns. Thank you, Mary, you made a difference today in my life.”

– Catherine Renee
Owner, Custom Hair By Catherine

make a difference

You Give, You Get

Give a very simple, yet profoundly transformative, acknowledgment to another person and you get a feeling of gladness.  Feeling better helps you do better.

Giving “I Make A Difference” wristbands to people of all colors, identities, religions, disabilities, abilities and cultures gives us all a warm experience of caring kindness, inclusion, encouragement and empowerment.

Giving words of acknowledgment is a beautiful, heartfelt way to help every person to feel seen, heard, felt and acknowledged for who they are and the difference they make.

Be a positive contribution to your community, country and world!

You can already see just how easy it can be to reach out to people you don’t even know and acknowledge something great you see in them, on the spot!

“I am only one, but still, I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still, I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
― Helen Keller

Order Wristbands

Quantity Discount Pricing

To follow the 'Acknowledgment Ceremony' Pay-It-Forward outreach

Order 4 Wristbands Per Recipient

I Make A Difference® Wristbands BLUE Cost Quantity
Adult Size - BLUE
Adult [Bags of 5]

Adult [Bags of 25]

Adult [Bags of 100]

Youth [Bags of 5]

Youth [Bags of 25]

Youth [Bags of 100]

Plan as far in advance as is possible to ensure delivery ahead of your event.

It is also important to know:

No single therapeutic approach is suitable for all people considering suicide or suicidal tendencies. The most common ways to treat underlying illnesses associated with suicide are with medication, talk therapy or a combination of the two. PREVENTION is about bringing transformational programs into our schools, places of work and churches that effectively build skills and much needed understanding to create a sense of community and belonging. KNOWING that we are here to Make A Difference is essential!