For most of my adult life, I have been searching for ways to contribute to society in a meaningful way. I have this wish for my children: that they will grow into compassionate adults who know everything and everyone is connected and we should all be doing our best to take care of each other and the world in which we live. As my children were growing before my eyes, I was all too aware of the fact I wasn’t doing anything tangible to help make this wish come true. I was waiting to have more time, more money and more energy.
Then one day I realized I didn’t want to be teaching my kids that being generous is something you do when it’s convenient. What if we never felt financially secure? I decided to stop waiting and asked some friends if they felt the same way.
We started as a handful of families, coming together once a month in the summer of 2012 to take on simple projects. Since then we have grown into an organization called Raising Little Heroes with more than 100 local families on our mailing list and an East Coast chapter gearing up for their first project. Whether it’s an 8 year old helping pull weeds at our adopted park or a 2 year old drawing a cheerful picture for a family affected by a natural disaster; an infant inspiring her parents to get out there and do something to help make this world a better place or a parent holding a new mother’s baby so that mother can take 10 minutes to sort food donations; or, a pregnant, first time mother making a blanket for a baby in the NICU while chatting with other parents about the new journey she’s about to embark on. There is something for all of us, a way to contribute regardless of how much.
If you also feel an urge to get your kids involved, know you don’t have to start an organization like we did (although if you are interested in starting a Raising Little Heroes chapter, by all means drop us a line). Every little bit counts, so gather your family together and brainstorm. Maybe you have a neighbor who is sick and could use a hand with yardwork or a local food bank that would be happy to give you a tour and let you lend a hand sorting goods for an hour or two.
If you need help getting the ball rolling though, here are some ideas:
- Make blankets for Project Linus (http://projectlinus.org/)
- Fill “Kits for Kids” for Centennial, CO non-profit Project C.U.R.E. (http://projectcure.org/programs/kidskits)
- Join Food Bank of the Rockies’ Fung Food Fighters Club for kids to learn how to fight hunger in our community. (http://www.foodbankrockies.org/programs/programs-for-children/kung-food-fighters/)
- Sign up as a team for a fundraiser like CFF’s national Great Strides walk (http://fightcf.cff.org/site/PageServer?pagename=gs_homepage)
- Bake some brownies and have the kids make thank you cards for a local firehouse or police station and then hand deliver them
For more ideas including larger scale efforts you can check out our website: http://raisinglittleheroes.wordpress.com/.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!