There are countless people living in this Valley making an impact each and every day. For many, it’s their job. We should all be thankful for the work they do to lift this region each day.

An equally large number find the time outside their 9-to-5 to make just as much of an impact.

For the most part, members of either group don’t go seeking notoriety. Our job in this business is to find those people and make sure we all recognize their selfless service to this region.

Since 2015, The Daily Item has annually featured a list of people or groups that have Made a Difference in our Valley. We feature them in profiles that run the week between Christmas and the New Year. Almost always they are names you don’t recognize.

That is the point, to find people impacting neighbors, churches, children, schools, hospitals and everything in between.

The name of this annual outreach — Made a Difference — sort of tells you all you need to know.

We are once again looking for people who help where help is needed, whether it had a broad impact or meant the world to just one person.

Again, they are often names you’ve never heard of, and perhaps haven’t heard since.

When I go back over the list of names we’ve honored since launching this feature in 2015, I probably don’t recognize 80 percent of them.

Some are recognizable, including Bob Stoudt of the Montour Area Recreation Commission, Victoria Rosancrans of just about anything that moves in Sunbury and the late veterans advocate Joe Diblin.

As a refresher, I went back to review some of the names that had fallen off my radar.

There was one person who pinned notes to neighbors’ houses during the early days of the pandemic. Another cut their neighbor’s lawn when illness struck.

Others are community advocates across numerous lanes, including promoting gun safety and reform, and others highlighting safe and vibrant downtowns and neighborhoods. Some ran art programs, managed Meals on Wheels services and advocated for veterans, those struggling with addiction, and those doing little things for a cleaner environment.

Each of us can and do make a difference in someone’s life.

We are once again looking for nominations to honor those everyday heroes among us. The preference would be for people who do things they aren’t getting paid for, but the fact is a lot of people have jobs that lead them to make a difference each and every day. It would be impossible to formulate a list of deserving nominations without them.

Our hope is the latest group of honorees is diverse and wide-ranging. We’ve previously featured a high school student who held a prom dress drive to collect dresses for those might not have been able to afford them and a centenarian who told us the lost stories of our soldiers.

Those who offer nominations should be willing to talk about the nomination with our reporters about why this person makes a difference. Please include contact information for yourself and the selfless person making this Valley better every day.

Send me your nominations by Dec. 12 at the latest so we can get moving on the stories before the holidays fill our calendars.

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