As part of the Steps to Confidence series, and part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®, I bought a few things to donate to the Boys & Girls Home of NC to provide comfort and care to boys and girls in the foster care system. I want to encourage you to Spin into Action for kids and focus on doing kind things for displaced children.
I am so in awe by people who live lives of service. My Papa was one of those people.
I’ve talked about his life of service numerous times here, but I haven’t talked much about my own dad who also lives a life of service. My dad has been involved in the Rotary club for a long time, and participates in fundraisers that benefit numerous charitable causes. He is also a mentor to boys who come from difficult economic circumstances. He has seen a few young men from middle school through college. I’ve wondered many times if those boys would have been successful had it not been for my dad’s influence.
My bonus mom works for the Guardian ad Litem program in Florida, and she runs the city’s Christmas for Every Child program each year. With people like this in my life, it’s difficult to forget what makes you feel really good – Giving. Doing something kind for other people makes you feel amazing. There’s nothing quite like removing selfishness from your life and replacing it with selflessness to give yourself a glow from the inside out.
Confidence isn’t something that you’re born with, it’s something that you create through taking steps to making yourself the best you you can be. The next step is believing that you are as amazing as you really are.
I realize that not everyone has the money to donate or to even purchase things to make a difference, but you see? every dime, every small donation makes an enormous difference in the life of a human being. Think about the last time someone did something nice for you without being asked. How did you feel? Did you return the favor? How did you feel?
I was at a drive-through Starbucks with my mom this week and the person in front of us bought our coffee for us. I’ve heard about that happening to people, but it had never happened to me until now. We went to a different Starbucks a couple of days later and returned the favor to a couple in line behind us. We were glowing afterwards, and it wasn’t the coffee. It wasn’t an expensive gesture, and made us feel fantastic.
One of my favorite organizations is Champions for Kids. I’ve done several of their SIMPLE Service projects and I always feel like a million bucks afterwards. Each month they have a new way to mobilize a community into action, and their ideas don’t require a bank account full of money, or a day full of time. This month, it is as simple as donating Arm & Hammer Spinbrush® or Tooth Tunes™ toothbrushes or other colorful, cozy, or comforting items to a local hospital, shelter, or foster care agency. Want to make a good thing even better? If you visit the Spinbrush® website, you can get a coupon for $2 off, which makes each toothbrush only $3!
My godmother was a foster parent for many, many years and at one time had 13 children in her care. My mom followed suit and had one foster child who ended up being adopted by a nice family that we knew personally. My Godmother had a foster child named Jenna that I’ll never forget. She had been chained to something in the kitchen, covered in animal feces, and left for an extended period of time. There is no telling what other sorts of abuse this little girl endured, but she touched an 18 year old, selfish Summer in ways nobody else ever has. Jenna was a mute 4 year old girl. She was not deaf, just so beaten down that she chose not to talk. We weren’t sure initially whether or not she had the ability to talk, but the more time I spent with her, the more she began to respond to me. Eventually, she talked to me. She would only talk when it was just us in a room, and very short sentences. I will never in my life forget where we were the first time she talked to me. I fell in love with that little girl and was devastated when she went to a different family. She would be in her late teens now and I have no idea where she is, or how she is doing, but I still tear up when I think about her and the strong relationship we forged. I was young then, and didn’t have money to give to fight a cause, but I had time, and I believe that the time I spend with Jenna enriched her life too.
While I appreciate every hat, stuffed animal, and handmade blanket I have ever received for my children during their minimal hospital trips, children in foster care have a very special place in my heart so when I heard about this campaign, I had to be involved. I went to Walmart yesterday and got an Arm & Hammer Spinbrush® and a Tooth Tunes™ toothbrush, two cuddle blankets, an on-the-go coloring studio, a book about making friends, a necklace in a case that says “Believe”, and a LaLaLoopsy pillow with a secret compartment, all to donate to a local Wake County Foster Care organization. I am donating in honor of Jenna, my Papa, and my Dad who selflessly gives of himself in his community on a regular basis. These people’s influence in my life has helped shape who I am and what is important to me. I promise you, if you give of yourself more often – in ways that make you happy, not stress you out – you will become a more confident person with a straighter back & a chin held more high.
It’s fun to mobilize your friends and family too! My mom donated a toothbrush, and my Zumba class is bringing a slew of donations to class tomorrow morning. You don’t have to ask your friends and family for money, ask them for simple, inexpensive donations that could help less fortunate children.
I am meeting with a representative on July 5 to donate these items to the Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina. I am excited to network with her and put myself in a position to help more in the future.
Here is the updated post with pictures of us together with all of the items donated to the Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina in her care!