Walking for a Reason

So Bostonians (and those who live close enough) grab the sneakers and sign up for Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger THIS WEEKEND! It’s the single largest public fundraising walk in Massachusetts, and in tying your laces and taking part, know you will be doing something really good for both yourself and for many others.

Do all 20 miles. Do 2. It doesn’t matter. Throw together a last-minute team or just grab one of your kids, like I did last year, and have a really special morning bonding with someone you would love to have an excuse to spend more time with. It’s really that easy. We’re the ones that make it complicated. All we have to do is make it a priority and take the first step (hopefully of many!) on a beautiful spring Sunday.

Happy walking…your body, and many others, will thank you!

A Deeper Connection

As a child, many of the biggest and best memories are connected to special occasions – the birthday, Christmas, Hanukah, Halloween, the bar/bat mitzvah, Easter. And when we connect something to those occasions that are bigger than ourselves, the events take on a deeper meaning, a meaning that we never forget as we reflect upon those special moments and milestones throughout our lives.

The reality is, every special occasion brings along with it an opportunity to solidify a deeper connection to the special day by incorporating some act of kindness – large or small – that makes the tradition more meaningful. The younger we begin this and the more it becomes a part of our traditions and routines, the more indelible the imprint in the mind of a child.

Easter just came and went – a big deal in the Christian tradition. My sons’ teachers wanted to add an “extra something” to this Lenten season, so I found a nonprofit down the street that provides counseling and services to grieving children who have lost a significant someone in their lives and are having a difficult time processing that loss. The kids, the teachers and I decided that the symbolic Easter basket chock full of little surprises, along with homemade cards and bookmarks, would likely make any kid smile. And so a couple of weeks after our idea was conceived, 25 colorful and well-stocked Easter baskets were delivered. To quote the staff there: “What a treasured Friday for New Hope for Kids. Please let them (the students) know how special this is!  The kids are going to love this! Thanks so much for this generous, thoughtful gift.”

But perhaps my favorite part was what the giving students had to say about this experience.

  • “I learned that helping others feel better made me feel better.”
  • “I learned that helping makes you happy…not getting, but giving.”
  • “Making the Easter baskets made me feel like I was making part of their sadness go away because of the fun and joy that I brought to them.”
  • “I learned that I can really help people, even as a 4th grader.”
  • “I learned that other people don’t have as much as we do, and we don’t realize that.”

It didn’t take long to dream up this idea. It didn’t take a lot to execute. And in a matter of just a few hours, 75 kids had an experience woven together in a way none of them will forget for quite some time.

PGK Launches LA!

PGK has launched its second city – Los Angeles! Check out the coverage on Yahoo! Finance.

“Project Giving Kids opens its LA-based operation with the support of 10 charter members of the local nonprofit community. These organizations include Access Books, Big Sunday, Grades of Green, Heal the Bay, Karma Rescue, Mending Kids, Milk + Bookies, North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, and TreePeople. These organizations are the foundation of what will grow into an extensive network of nonprofits in the greater Los Angeles area.”