To be honest, when I received the "make a difference in a child's life without throwing money at them" challenge, my mind immediately went to a swift good deed that I could do in one day and knock off my list. But that's not much of a challenge. So after some quality time with Internet, I made my decision to apply to be a Big.
As in, a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of NYC. The commitment is pretty substantial (two times a month for at least a year), but it's a chance to spend time with one kid who got dealt some crappy life cards and establish a positive relationship that will stick with them for the rest of their life.
I submitted my application online and exchanged some emails with one of the representatives. I was already beginning to imagine the things I could do with my little sister around NYC. After a few weeks of waiting, I finally received an answer:
Damn. Back to square one with this challenge. If anyone has any recommendations for programs where I can help a kid one-on-one, feel free to share.