Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Making the Most of What you Have

One day, Hannah saw a man eating out of a garbage can and asked why someone would do that. Her mom explained about homelessness and now Hannah raises money and awareness for homeless people across the Canada. She was eight years old when she started volunteering, raising money and talking with homeless people.

Twelve year old Craig was looking for the comics but stumbled across a news story about a boy his age. The boy in the story had been sold into slavery at the age of four and had been murdered for speaking out against child labor. Craig didn't even know there was such a thing as child labour, but he learned and then he taught some friends. Together they began raising funds and awareness to combat child poverty and exploitation.

After three years of battling cancer, four year old Alex decided to help her doctor's find a cure so she set up a lemonade stand in her front yard to raise money. Although Alex lost her battle against cancer she is helping to win the war. Her one little lemonade stand has inspired schools, communities and business to raise more than $5 million for pediatric cancer research.

These three ordinary kids saw a need and made the most of what they had. They talked with friends, educated themselves and volunteered. They spoke up, inspired others and kept pressing on even when things got tough.  They made scarves, collection jars, and lemonade. They made a difference. They are still making a difference. they are world changers and none of them were over the age of twelve when they started.

As the school year is winding down I am starting to make plans for the summer. How am I going to fill the sixty something days between the dismissal bell and the first day of school? I am planning a road trip and beach days and play dates but this year I want to plan something more. I want to teach my kids something more.

Mr. Awesome and I have had the opportunity to participate in some pretty cool philanthropic opportunities over the years. Each time we've started raising money or collecting items for people in need we have tried to find ways to include our kids. We have talked with the kids about being aware of the needs of others and looking for opportunities to help where we can but this year, this summer, we have the urge to do something more, more than just talking and explaining. We want them, our kids, to make the most of what they have. We want them to make a difference, not just feel like they are.

We have started brainstorming and planning to make the most of the talents, abilities and voice that we have. We want to fill our summer with sunshine, good times and good deeds. We want to know that at the end of the day our kids got more out of their summer vacation than a healthy glow and a few more freckles.

I'm not sure, exactly, what this is going to look like for our family but I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, watch this video and be inspired. It was made by a music producer who took the skills and connections he had and made a video that has become a CD that has funded the construction of music schools around the world.

For more information on Hannah's cause check out The Ladybug Foundation.
To learn more about Craig's campaign go to Free the Children
Find out more about Alex at Alex's Lemonade

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