My son is nine, and we like to involve him in our charitable giving. We talk to him about the charities we give to…he cleans out his toys about every 6 months and we give to children in need. Every Christmas we buy toys for kids at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and let him pick them all out. As a 9 year old going on 21 he gets that he has a wonderful life and the importance of giving back. So the 9th anniversary of 9/11 comes and it’s a Saturday. My husband and son and I are watching the memorials and remembering back to the day when my son was a mere 5 months old and I was questioning why we brought a baby into this horrible cruel world. As we watched and talked with our son about it, he had serious questions about good and evil: Why anyone would kill themselves? Kill other people? Why are Mom and Dad crying today? And his major question: Did any children die? Yes, honey they did, and then he shed some tears.
We didn’t want to take away his innocence…yet most books, movies and TV shows for kids are all about a good guy and a bad guy and on his level we explained this, and on his level he got it! Right then and there I realized the importance of him understanding that there are people that want to harm others and we couldn’t agree more with his response, “they are stupid.” As the day progressed, little things would come up and we would discuss, but my son was looking for some good in the world (and frankly so was I) and then something magical happened. We had just had our KidSafe Foundation Launch party and at the event we met a gentleman who worked for Capital Guardian – he was not a guest at our party but a patron of the restaurant having a business dinner. When he asked us what was going on tonight and we told him. He said, “Whatever you bring, in I will double.” We were excited but skeptical – I mean who does that? After the event we shared information, emailed him, and sent him all the appropriate paper work he requested to make this donation.
Yet…some of us (my husband) didn’t believe. That Saturday we received the check and the warmest note about the good work we are doing and I cried. When my son asked why I was crying I was so glad to tell him about the generosity of others, about there being more good in this world than bad, and the way to combat the bad is to always try to be doing good for others because it will come back to you. His answer to me, “Well then we are always going to have good around us because you work hard to keep children safe.” G -d I love that kid. Though this is not our typical blog, we felt such a strong need to share about this wonderful stranger who out of the goodness of his heart wanted to help keep kids safe and was a man of his word. How wonderful to be able to share that with my son. So our thoughts to you today – show your children the goodness in the world by being good and giving back. For more information about KidSafe or to make a donation please visit www.kidsafefoundation.org.