Especially in today’s world, it is important to give back to the community whenever possible. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in our own lives―worrying about social media, our clothes, popularity, etc.―that we forget to recognize how fortunate we are. There are so many people out there that would be exceedingly grateful to have the things that we take for granted: for instance, a stable flow of income, a roof over our heads, three meals a day, the opportunity to go to school, and more. Therefore, it is vital for us to embrace our fortune and help those less fortunate.
Ever since December of 2010, I have been an active participant of the organization KidsGiving365; my mom is a co-founder, and I have been involved since the beginning. Based in Colorado, KidsGiving365 was built upon the idea that kids need to have the ability to give to others. Children are usually too focused on their own lives to realize what is going on outside of their little bubble; thus, KidsGiving365 provides them an opportunity to donate to and assist those in need, as well as to become more socially aware. The overall mission of this organization is to create the next generation of givers.
KidsGiving365 hosts a variety of events throughout the year, two of the most popular being their back-to-school event and their holiday event, called Santa’s Elves. During the back-to-school event, givers, or the people that donate, sign up to buy school supplies, such as backpacks, notebooks, uniforms, pencils, and more to give to the receivers, or the people that receive the supplies. In a similar way, at the Santa’s Elves event, givers buy presents for the receivers, who are otherwise unable to celebrate the holidays with gifts.
One unique feature of KidsGiving365 is that all of the events take place face-to-face. The exchange of supplies, or of gifts, occurs when the givers and receivers meet up at the main event. There, the families are able to engage with each other. This is a truly moving experience; the givers are able to see how thankful the receivers are, and participants are able to establish lifelong connections and friendships.
Throughout my time with KidsGiving365, a few moments have really stuck with me. Firstly, one year, while participating in Santa’s Elves, we discovered that our receiver family was unable to attend the main event; they did not own a car, and could not afford to take public transportation. As such, we journeyed to their house to give them their holiday gifts. When we arrived, they were ecstatic and so grateful; they were so happy that we had taken the time to buy them presents, and go to their house to deliver them. It was a very heartfelt experience; I felt accomplished that I had made others happy, and I was suddenly very thankful for all of my blessings in life.
Secondly, only a week ago, my mom received an email from some of the other members of the organization. They were trying to figure out how to assist a family that needed to purchase school uniforms―uniforms that cost $30 in total. The family was unable to afford the uniforms, so my mom offered to buy the uniforms and deliver them. This email exchange increased my awareness of how lucky I am; while, at the time, I was thinking about going shopping for a new outfit for school, this family was struggling to scrape together $30 - a price that I would not think twice about.
If there is one lesson that participating in KidsGiving365 has taught me, it is that we should always look for opportunities to help others. If we have the ability to give back to the community, or if we have the money to make someone else’s day, there is no reason not to. In other words, giving to others is an experience that contributes not only to their well-being, but also to your own self, and your own heart.
If you have any questions about how to get involved with KidsGiving365, feel free to Direct Message me on Instagram @balletgirl328. You can also visit our website KidsGiving365.org.