Today is Tuesday. Today, I actually sat down with my breakfast and turned on the TV. I don’t normally do this. But, I tuned into an episode of Full Frame on Link TV (truly publicly funded). Today, I was so encouraged by children turned activists.
The episode highlighted 4 young people who have made tremendous differences in others’ lives across the world. I’d like to share a little about these kids who started with a dream.
Austin Gutwein was 9 years old when he was moved by the struggle of children with AIDS. He began a program called Hoops for Hope because he wanted to make a difference. The first time he started his program, he raised $3,000. He is 21 years old now and his program has raised millions of dollars for those ravished by AIDS. He was asked by the host what advice he would give to kids or anyone who wished to make a difference. He said that you should start out small and dream big.
Kyle Weiss and his brother Garrett were 13 and 15 when they started Fund a Field. They were part of a soccer team and the brothers wanted to provide children in South Africa whose lives are harsh the opportunity to have some fun. They raised money to send equipment to kids and build soccer fields. When Kyle went back to Kenya, a few years later, soccer had become almost a religion. He had met a 12 year boy from Swaziland who was the sole supporter for his 3 younger siblings. His entire day was spent begging for food and taking care of his brothers and sister. The only time he was able to be a kid was when he played soccer. Today, they have fields in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.
Garrett explained that if you have a passion and you want to share it with others, you will find people who will help you do this.
Karen works with 31 women from Uganda who have 198 children between them. Karen was impressed by the paper bead making. She brought some back home and began talking to her friends about selling the jewelry. These women were making a dollar a day and with Karen’s help getting fair market value for the jewelry, the Ugandan women were able to send all of their children to school and provide for them.
Hannah Taylor is from Winnipeg, Canada. When she was 5 years old, she eas in the car with her parents on a very cold December day. She saw a man searching garbage cans for food. This so impacted her that she thought about that event for the next 3 years. When she was 8 years old, she started the Ladybug Foundation that provides funds for and education regarding homelessness. Her foundation has raised over 3 million dollars for combating homelessness. She has won the Nobel Prize for Children. In her early twenties now, Hannah continues to be a human rights activist and a champion for children.
When we are encouraging our kids to pursue their dreams for a career, are we also encouraging them to think beyond themselves? Are we helping them make this world a better place for everyone? Are we giving them experiences that will make them a selfless human being like the kids I shared above? Do we esteem serving others has important as a successful career or making money?
Here’s a suggestion. You can pull up youtube videos about Austin, about the Weiss brothers. I have included a video about Hannah (a heroine of mine) and I hope you give your kids a chance to watch it, too.
We can all help to make life better for others no matter what age we are. These kids totally inspire me..💖