Five large boxes of socks. Check.
One box containing approximately 1,200 homemade cards of encouragement. Check.
1300 middle school students having a chance to realize their small acts of kindness can have big ripples. Check.
Last fall, Project Giving Kids made a special introduction between a student leadership organization known as TACSC (The Association of Catholic Student Councils) and one of our favorite nonprofits, Gotta Have Sole, founded by now 18-year-old Nicholas Lowinger. This spring, 1300 students participated in 10 Student Leadership Days run by TACSC, held largely in LA County, and had the chance to learn of Nicholas’s work and message. They also had the opportunity to create cards for kids in homeless shelters to accompany the new shoes Nicholas’s organization will provide to these children. In an act of awareness and solidarity, they were encouraged to come to their day with mismatched socks and to bring a sock donation to give to Gotta Have Sole too.
As Gene Detre, TACSC’s Program Director in charge of the leadership days, noted: “This was the perfect organization to use as part of our service module. The students were able to easily identify with another student who started a nonprofit at their age, as Nicholas got his 501(c)(3) status for Gotta Have sole when he was in 7th grade.”
For us at Project Giving Kids, it was all about making the connection: the connection between a great organization working to develop the potential of student leaders and a nonprofit touching lives every day with a simple, yet profound, gift of an often overlooked need; the connection between each act of kindness and the impact it can have both on the beneficiary and on the giver; the connection that ultimately lies between and among all of us.