So, I finished my blog rant (see below) and then did some chores around the house. Finally, game time rolled around and I settled on the couch to watch my Panthers and read the paper (this is what I do if it gets painful on the screen). The game was far from painful (if you are a Panthers fan) and so I didn’t get too deep into the paper– just what I could manage during the commericals and half-time, but I did get to an editorial with this headline: Children need commitment, love of adults. Exactly, I thought! The column talks about a great organization– the Council for Children’s Rights– in Charlotte. I interned with them for three years while I was in college and I can vouch for their good work. Their staff is top notch, the work they do is urgent, and this column speaks directly to the importance of the work that we all do with young people. We all had adults who were not our parents who cared about us when we were young– a coach, a teacher, a youth minister, etc. Kids need more people than their parents on their team (there comes a point in every kid’s life where he or she begins to think that his/her parents are just saying those nice things because they are supposed to ‘since they’re my parents and all.’ That’s when a non-parental mentor makes even more of a difference). All kids need a cadre of people who care about them, even the ones with big allowances and bigger houses.
So, as you consider what gifts you might give at the end of this year and what resolutions you might make for the new year, think about how you might add caring for a kid who does not live in your house to your list. Will you pull an extra ornament off an Angel Tree? Will you make a contribution to an organization that champions kids? Will you sign up to teach an afterschool class in your area of expertise (check out Citizen Schools)? Will you serve as a tutor or mentor? Will you agree to be a board member of a non-profit who needs you? Will you give a micro-loan to a mother or father working to support their children? Find the difference you want to make and do it. It will make such a difference for you.