By Debbie Stone
Hey gang, its that time of the year! You know, when your school asks you to bring in canned foods, toys, etc. Perhaps your school choir sings at the local senior center or you volunteer to paint holiday murals on the windows of local businesses. This time of year always warms my heart and I am always thrilled to see young people give back. It’s one of the reasons why I am so happy to write for this magazine. Gracie and her brother took an idea and turned it into reality and I am proud to help them follow their dream.
Are you passionate about a cause? You can do something to support that cause. Yes, you have the power to make your voice heard. You don’t have to start your own business if that’s not your thing, you can volunteer! Many local hospitals, senior centers, animal shelters, religious houses of worship welcome all the help they can get. Just giving a few hours to read to some seniors, or visiting a sick child at a hospital can really make a difference! Just think how good you will feel to see someone smile because of something you did.
Of course there are so many other ways to lend a helping hand. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
You can gather your friends together and have a Holiday Card making party and send your creative creations to soldiers stationed overseas who will not be home for the holidays through the Holiday Mail for Heroes Red Cross program. Cards must be received by December 7th so hurry for this one. (For more information and card writing guidelines visit: http://www.redcross.org//support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes.)
Of course, you should run any ideas you have by your parents prior to starting, I assure you, they will be so proud! So now that you are armed with some ideas… go off and lend a helping hand and make someone happy! Reply to this article and let us know what you are doing on your own smile campaign!
Debbie Stone lives in New York and is the mother of two boys, Dylan, age 9 and Brandon, age 4. Dylan has autism and Brandon enjoys being his little brother. Debbie is the founder of Pop. Earth (short for Population Earth), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping children and young adults with special needs. Currently, Pop. Earth is working on developing The Om Holistic Center for Autism & Developmental Disorders. This affordable center will focus on yoga, nutritional support, reiki, NAET and their own Free To Be Me! artistic expression program. Visit them at facebook.com/om.pop.earth