One of the greatest tasks of any parent is to raise children who care about others, and who show God’s love to their fellow man.
While there is no “10-step” program to ensure our kids will grow up to value “the least of these,” there’s something we can do to help instill this heart of compassion in our little ones. We can create an environment of awareness, and encourage our children when they seek to live their faith.
Earlier this week, my son Troy and his friends from school did just that.
It all started with Troy’s friends Carter and Adia. The siblings had been asked by their parents to learn about Typhoon Haiyan, the devastating storm that recently hit the Philippines. Their parents wanted to talk about the tragedy during dinner. As Carter and Adia learned about the destruction, they wanted to do something to help. They came up with an idea: holding a school-wide week-long fundraiser to benefit the relief efforts for the Philippines.
Troy was on board with the project as soon as he found out about it. He also started to brainstorm and thought it would be a great idea to stand outside the local grocery store with his friends and raise money that way.
This is what I love about what happened: the kids came up with some creative ways to help, and the adults in their lives facilitated things. There were no naysayers. No one said, “Oh, that seems like a lot of work.”
Rather, Carter and Adia’s mom, Angelina, got the school involved so it would be an official event. My wife Jean managed to convince an initially skeptical store manager to allow the kids to set up a table at the entrance. At every step, the kids’ desire to help was affirmed and encouraged.
And that’s how, this last Friday, I left the office and watched Troy and his friends take the lead in helping people they had never met.
It’s rewarding as a parent to be at a stage where we’re starting to see our children put their faith into action.
Below I’m including a short video of Monday’s fundraising effort at the grocery store.