"So what's it gonna take? Silver shadow believer..." -Shiny Toy Guns

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's all about the kids.

At the end of the year, I start reflecting.
I get to thinking about all the things wrong with this planet and what I want to do to help. Unfortunately, the bank account of a writer who is not yet famous, is an empty one. I am unable to donate to all the causes I believe in, and trust me there are many.

"What is my contribution to this planet and humankind?" Is a thought that crosses my mind hourly. It's really hard to figure out a way to help and so many of us have this idea that our contribution will, "barely make a dent." But, as long as we think that way, nothing will ever change. The other problem is who to give to; there are so many deserving causes.

I have contributed to:
-World Vision Inc., http://www.worldvision.org/; it's an organization devoted to working with children, families and their communities, worldwide.
-St. Jude Children's Hospital offers many ways in which to assist sick children http://www.stjude.org/ . I donated to them, in September when Chili's restaurant had their Design-a-Pepper program. I colored one and gave a little bit of money- not much but it still counts.
-Through the United Way program, http://www.unitedway.org/ , I have donated to the kids of in the county I live, for the last two years. It is an excellent way to watch how efforts help the community in which you live.

MOST IMPORTANT: If you don't have a lot of money, offer some of your time. There is truth to be said, in the saying, "time is money."

An organization I intend to donate my time to in the coming year is the Charity Music Program, http://www.charitymusic.org/ . This organization donates used musical instruments to disadvantaged, at-risk children with a desire to develop their musical talents. The instruments are loaned, at no charge, and the program is nonprofit and run by volunteers. They take other sorts of donations too like, instruments of any kind and concert tickets (type of venue and artist, do not matter), and they are in need of volunteers, as well.

I will also be donating to the Tony Hawk Foundation, http://www.tonyhawkfoundation.org/ this year. This organization helps to fund the building of public skate parks in low income areas; giving children a place for recreational activities outside. I think it’s a healthy alternative to lying around the house playing video games, eating crap, and doing who knows what else; and an effective method of promoting exercise, in a country that has a tremendous child obesity problem.

I believe in many, many causes and if I could save the world, Lord knows I would try. Of the most important to me however, are the ones that cater to kids. I believe they are our future and that healthy, happy kids are what will make exceptional adults, some day. Children’s creative expression has become increasingly important to me. Whether it be skating, music, art, baseball, etc.- it is all a form of creative expression.

I was fortunate as a child, to have a grandmother who put me in art classes. I am forever thankful to her for it, because without her I never could have afforded to go. She believed I was an artist and that it was important for me to find a way to express myself. As a kid it was art and as an adult, I have found my creative release through marketing and writing, and I believe this is a direct result of her efforts years ago. I am proud to say that I have recently started dabbling with painting again for the first time since high school; I never think they’re any good, but I know Gram is smiling somewhere.

I am looking for a good program that donates to the development of children’s artistic abilities by offering supplies to kids who can’t afford them, but haven’t been able to find one. If you know of one like this feel free to contact me.

Happy Holidays.

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