When you are a Mom, you have these dreams and aspirations that you will teach your children all the things that you wished you would have learned when you were little. You try to instill in them the notion to give something back to the community, to help others in need, to be a good friend and a good citizen of the world.
Give Something Back: An Overwhelmed Parent
In the beginning, things go smooth and easy, but as they grow and life gets complicated, you suddenly realize that life today is nothing like life was when you were a kid. Suddenly you have no tools to cope with how today’s teenager lives. You are overwhelmed by the amount of time they spend on the internet and cell phones, including ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, PlayStation, X-box, League of Legends etc. They can put together a PowerPoint faster than you can put the dishes away from the dishwasher. You are at a loss.
Suddenly, things start to emerge, and you see things building upon another. First, it was Andre’s House, where you practically had to drag your boys downtown to serve others, through a soup kitchen. Sometimes the lessons weren’t so apparent, but you continued.
From there it was on to Boys Team Charity, the organization you made them join when they were 12. It is a philanthropy boys charity group that encourages boys to volunteer through different organizations.
We volunteered at quite a few: Foundation for the Blind, Home Fur Good, St. Mary’s Food Bank, St Vincent de Paul, Packages from Home. Lessons learned through these organizations built some character. Especially the time my son got beat at a game of Air Hockey by a blind boy half his age!
Give Something Back: Volunteerism
We also gained a new member of the family at Home Fur Good, an animal shelter!
Give Something Back: We All Grow Up!
Then through their school, they gave something back and volunteered as tutors for underprivileged children, and then again at Free Arts Arizona, an art center for abused children. Momentum started to build and you started to notice a difference. Suddenly these same kids you raised are looking for their own opportunities to volunteer.
After numerous searches, my son Diego found an organization that he could give something back and volunteer that combines his loves of travel, lacrosse and helping others through an organization called Fields of Growth. Fields of Growth aims to harness the passion of the lacrosse community into positive social impact through global leadership development, service and growing the game of lacrosse across the world.
Give Something Back
The things that change the most are that now your children are the ones seeking out the ways to give back. They are the ones that want to make a difference in the world. You no longer have to force them to see that they have had privileged lives, but now they know and want to give back to the community and the world.
My son is also a west coast representative of Serengetee, a T-Shirt company, whose Twitter account says “Pocket T’s made with fabrics from around the world. A portion of sales goes to Charity to help give something back. When you wear Serengetee, you Wear the World.” Essentially it is a T-shirt company that makes the pocket on the T-shirt from fabrics from countries around the world. They then give a portion of their profits back to the countries that produced the fabrics. It’s a win-win situation. As I see it, this is the perfect combination for him, as he is a lover of travel (duh! Look who his parents are!) and charity. At the tender age of 18, he has traveled to 20 countries, and Jamaica was his country #21 to visit this last summer.
So although you may have thought that this was a post about giving back, it is also a post about a Mom who is proud of her son!
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