A Lesson Learned on Giving Back: A Traveling Mom and Her Son

By Cacinda Maloney

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.

Maloney, Diego Mexico

Diego Maloney, Mexico

Diego Maloney Great Britain, London

Diego Maloney London, England

You try to instill in them the notion of giving back to the community, to helping others in need, to being a good friend and a good citizen of the world.

Diego Maloney, Roatan, Honduras

Diego Maloney, Roatan, Honduras

A Lesson Learned on Giving Back

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.


Playing LAX

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!

A Lesson Learned on Giving Back

We also gained a new member of the family at Home Fur Good, an animal shelter!

Home Fur Good Dog

Home Fur Good – Shasta as a puppy

Home Fur Good - Shasta Maloney

Home Fur Good – Shasta Maloney

Home Fur Good

Home Fur Good – Shasta Maloney

A Lesson Learned on Giving Back

Then through their school, they 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 volunteer at 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.

Fields of Growth

Rayquando – Fields of Growth

Fields of Growth

Fields of Growth

A Lesson Learned on Giving 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 go to Charity.  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 Jamica 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!

Jamaica, Fields of Growth

Jamaica, Fields of Growth

A Lesson Learned on Giving Back




  1. jenny@atasteoftravel December 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    This is such a lovely story Cacinda. It’s also a great reminder for parents that teaching our children to think of others and to give back really does start early in life. Congratulations….your beautiful young man is a credit to you.

    • admin December 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Jenny! He is going to be a great world traveller and a volunteer for the needy.

  2. Lance | Trips By Lance December 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Great post. It’s a reminder to me that it’s not too late to work harder at instilling these values in our son, although we find ourselves struggling with taking the time to teach these lessons. I think we tend to be too selfish with our time these days. Great lessons here.

    • admin December 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      I agree, it is so hard to share our time, even with our own children,as we have so much work to do. Quite frankly, I was surprised he got the lesson, but happy nonetheless.

  3. […] to help provide positive social impact through global leadership development. I wrote about it here. The whole thing was his idea and quite frankly, it was one of the best things he has chosen to do […]

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