Making a difference: In Rhinelander, WI...

Kevin Bacon feels it's important to hear Rick and Kela Ellis's story. We agree . . . .

In Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Rick and Kela Ellis have made a difference.

It is almost 23 years since they lost Ashley, their two-year-old daughter, to brain cancer.

Ever since, determined to honor Ashley's name and keen to help others who might find themselves in similar anguish, the charitable couple have dedicated themselves to raising funds for their local Ronald McDonald House.

Based in Marshfield, this had been their home from home during those difficult days in 1989, and Rick and Kela know better than most how it feels to be there.

"We get so much joy out of helping people who are in the situation that we were in 22 years ago," explains Rick.

The Ellis family focus their efforts on collecting cans and, in recent years, with the support of the local community, more than 6,000 pounds of aluminium have been recycled as a result, raising sufficient funds for 500 overnight stays at the Ronald McDonald House.

Countless families in distress have benefited as a result and, for Jacob and Alyssa Ellis - born after their sister's death - and for grandmother Barbara Estabrook, the project has helped bring the family even closer together.

"[On] our first Make a Difference Day," I didn't know what to expect," explains Barbara. "When we rounded a corner and I saw all those bags of cans out by the kerb, I could have cried. I'm so proud of this community. This shows anyone can make a difference. We did it can by can."

Here in Saunderstown, Rhode Island - where, through our OMs, we are trying to make a difference every day - we'd like to applaud the Ellis family and congratulate them on receiving their Make a Difference Day Award . . . .

It just goes to prove that a little effort can go a long way.

Let's make a difference.

We are all connected.