When I speak with parents whose children give back I hear this statement often: “My kids sometimes feel weird and alienated.” The reason they feel this way is because they may have a number of friends who do not understand why they give of their time and raise money for other people. In the age of video games and self-absorption, sometimes giving children are exiled from their peers and labeled as ‘do-gooders’. We at Kids Are Heroes are trying to change that mindset. Besides affecting people and our planet in a positive way we have learned that children who volunteer and give back are learning valuable life skills and becoming compassionate leaders. It’s cool to give back.
Update: 6/22/2012 We also know that kids are even bullied for doing things for others. Calista is one of several of our heroes who have had that experience. Her mom tweeted on how we have helped her.
We’ve also discovered that the children who feel this way go through a marvelous transition when they meet other kids who have giving hearts. They quickly learn that they are not strange, that there ARE other kids like them and that they too are supported by their parents and other adults. These encounters “recharge their batteries” and help to inspire them to continue their giving efforts. This is one of the valuable lessons Kids Are Heroes Day has taught us. I just had a telephone discussion with a mother of two heroes from Trinidad and Tobago. She is now in the throes of planning their trip to Maryland in October for Kids Are Heroes Day 2012. Some of the comments she made were, “peers from my country don’t believe kids can affect change” and “my children often times do feel alienated”. Before she has ever attended one of our events she understands the benefit it will have on her heroes.
Unfortunately many of these children cannot afford to come. We would like nothing more than to fly all of them to Maryland and house and feed them all through the weekend. But we simply cannot afford to do that. We are hoping that we can bring at least one family to Maryland in October, but need your help to do it. Please consider buying a brick on our Kids Are Heroes Day Donor Wall. Besides offering you exposure in return, you will know that you have touched the lives of some pretty amazing kids.