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National Make A Difference Day / National Chocolate Day
National Make A Difference Day.
This day brings community service to a whole new level each year. Organizations join forces on the fourth Saturday in October to make a difference, big or small.
Millions of people have united in the common mission to improve the lives of others.
For more than 20 years, USA Weekend and Points of Light sponsored National Make a Difference Day. It became the largest national day of community service. However, the two organizations no longer promote the community service weekend. Despite that, the event carries on, thanks to many with like-minded beliefs in their communities.
All across the country, organizations pick up the tools required to help others during this weekend. Sometimes, they pick another weekend in October. However, they do it, they do so making a difference in the lives of others and their communities. The expression of love for each other through support and good ol’ elbow grease is sometimes all we need to make a difference.
National Chocolate Day
Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia and grows in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. The earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC.
Since cacao tree seeds have a very intense, bitter taste, they must be fermented to develop the flavor.
Research has found that chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure.
Once fermented, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. After roasting, the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are then ground into cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form. The cocoa mass is usually liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients. At this point in the process, it is called chocolate liquor. The chocolate liquor may then be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
· Unsweetened baking chocolate – cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
· Sweet chocolate – cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat and sugar.
· Milk chocolate – sweet chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk.
· White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.