Earlier this year, I heard about two little girls being raised by a single father who lost that father in a car accident. My heart sank for them and then all I could think about were those little girls. When I looked into my own children's eyes, I realized the magnitude of their loss. I decided to offer whatever little I could and ended up mailing two gift cards to the teacher that was now caring for the girls. I posted about it on my Facebook page and an old friend from high school decided to send some gift cards too! How beautiful and contagious is the spirit of giving?
I quite possibly chose my career because of this very spirit. Part of my profession is to teach a curriculum to at-risk youth struggling to graduate middle school. My deepest hope is that the contagious spirit of giving and success overcomes them too. I wish for them personal growth, transformation, and inner-peace. But I actually do more than wish, I serve them.
Some of these students are so broken. Broken to the point that getting them to say one positive thing about themselves is a great challenge. How can a child feel so bad about themselves that one simple word of affirmation out loud is impossible? Yet, I persist. I want to serve them if they allow it. I show up for them every week and they show up for me. If that is all I can give, somehow I know my commitment to showing up just might be enough!
I believe in them. I care for them win or lose. I see the 6 or 7 classes they're failing and still find effort to compliment. I want the belief I have for them to become contagious too. I want my optimism to infest them and my acceptance to heal them. Whoever has rejected them to the point where they cannot speak kindly to themselves, doesn't have a place in our interactions. I don't mirror those sentiments and I see the slight but deep changes that bring these children one step closer to opportunities, freedom and self-respect.
|Surviving Hurricane Sandy|
So I give back personally and professionally. I give back because I find that life is about service. Life's greatest fulfillment comes from the simple acts of generosity that define the human spirit.
Giving can be as simple as sending a $10 text to the Red Cross in times of need by texting: Red Cross to 90999 or as big as moving to an underdeveloped country to fully serve in development or relief efforts.
Every form of giving matters.
Please take a moment to share your stories of giving back in the comment section below. Leave your email along with the comment and be entered to win a $25.00 gas gift card.
|Julie Santos moved to Haiti to serve sweet children like Wadley (RIP)|
Thank you for your comment.
More importantly, thank you for transforming our world one act of kindness at a time!