This morning I spent the greater half of the morning cleaning up Christmas stuff. I had to put up the Christmas tree and still have opened presents that need to find a home. I had the TV on as I was cleaning up the mess and noticed that today is the 1 year anniversary to the earthquake in Haiti. There was a mother talking about how repairs are moving slowly and they have been now living in a tent city for a year. There is also a major outbreak of Cholera in the area due to the unsanitary conditions. I know better than to watch stuff like this because it really gets me sad and I start thinking about things. Right as I was done with all of this, I opened my email and came across a Tom’s Shoes email. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tom’s Shoes, for every pair of shoes you buy, a pair of shoes will be donated to a child without shoes. It is an awesome company. So after I opened that email it got me to thinking about all the children that don’t even have food…much less shoes. Hell, there are people in our own communities who go without food and basic necessities on a daily basis. This is in sharp contrast to the type of life that I am fortunate enough to have. I was brought to think about the sharp contrast in the daily existence of these children again when I was looking at my Christmas pictures again and saw the pile of wrapping paper under my daughter as she opened her gifts.
The picture above was taken at the height of excitement while my daughter was opening gifts. Children in impoverished areas, would probably exhibit this level of excitement just to get food and water on a regular basis. I am fortunate and blessed to have a roof over my head and food in my cabinets. My belly doesn’t even have to growl for more than a few minutes before I can fix the issue. I even have lots of nice extras (like a smart phone) that I sometimes feel are extravagant and excessive at times.
As we leave the season that is all about thinking about others, these problems can sometimes take the back burner until the next holiday season. These problems do not go away and life continues to be a struggle for many people. Of course, I can’t fix all the world’s problems but I would like to spend this year making a difference for others. I have been thinking about what that would mean for me.
So far I have come up with a couple of things:
- I plan on teaching parents the amount of money you can save by going to cloth diapers.
- I absolutely need new sneakers, because mine are falling apart and now rub blisters on my feet….this time I am determined to get a pair of Tom’s shoes. That way I know that money I have to spend anyway is benefitting a child in need.
- I am also going to try to make sure that I take my oldest daughter to volunteer with me this year. I always try to remind her that we are so very fortunate in everything we have. It is a conversation that we have often.
- I also will donate cloth diapers to some families in need throughout the year. I haven’t settled on the number of families that I can help on my own, but I will help a few. Heck, maybe I could turn it into a fundraiser if there is enough need.
Our children look up to us to teach them how to act and behave. I don’t want my daughter to grow up with a sense of entitlement and no knowledge of the struggles of others. Those struggles of others could very easily become our own overnight in the constant change that is life. Children model what we teach them. Let’s teach them to give back.
These are just some simple things that I am going to try to do to make a difference. What do you have planned this year?
I wrote something a couple of years ago that I am going to post in a different post. It is titled Fire Drill and was an experience I had with a homeless gentleman and giving him a simple pair of gloves. Please feel free to read it. Also, if you know of any families in desperate diaper need, please let me know. I am going to be giving some basic cloth diapers to parents in need throughout the year.