Making a Difference

Revisiting Some of Our Most Popular Making a Difference Stories

Dylan and Jonah

Ryan M. Jones

When the Nightly News team gathers to discuss the day’s stories, it often seems as though there’s not a lot of uplifting news out there. But as we know, and as our viewers remind us, that just isn’t true.

In communities, schools, and cities across the country, every day, there are people helping others and their stories have been at the heart of one of Nightly News’ signature series, “Making a Difference.”

The idea originally came from Brian Williams’ wife, Jane Williams. As he explained during a Facebook chat in September, “Her theory is: people are doing good things every minute of every day, it’s contagious if we start telling their stories.”

“Making a Difference” began in November 2005 and this week, we’re revisiting some of our most popular stories since the series' start.

We’ll visit a boy we first met at the age of six, when he was just beginning his mission to help find a cure for the rare genetic disorder his best friend has. We’ll catch up with a young woman who at 10 years old decided to plant a garden to feed the hungry. Four years later, she’s still at it and gardens have sprouted all around the country inspired by her work. We’ll visit a boxing gym in Detroit that’s become a real symbol of love and grit for all that it does for dozens of grateful kids in the neighborhood. And finally, we’ll go back in flight with some rescued puppies and the pilots who volunteer to fly them to a new home and a new life.

And of course, if you have a making a difference story for us, share your stories here and it could appear on or an upcoming broadcast.