It seems these days that messages of hate and negativity abound. From the highest office in the land we hear insults directed toward religious groups, immigrants and others. Neo Nazis have been given a forum to preach white supremacy. Some in the “Alt left” have fought back with violence in a misdirected response toward radicalism. Where is the sanity?
At Arizona Helping Hands, we see the future. It lies squarely in youth who are setting examples that all adults could learn important lessons from. Caring about our fellow human beings, showing compassion and love is the way forward.
We can learn from our children. Take 7 year old Sloane. She showed up at our office with an envelope on which was penciled, “For Foster Kids!”. Inside was the $23 she and friends raised at a lemonade stand!
Consider Jordyn, a teenager who volunteered her time at Arizona Helping Hands and then decided to ask family and friends to donate gift cards for our Teen Birthday program as her Bat Mitzvah project. The dozens of cards she collected will put smiles on many youngsters faces. Some of these children in foster care and group home settings have never celebrated a birthday, but they will now because of Jordyn’s efforts.
And then there’s 12 year old Chance. This amazing young man has spent way too much of his youth in need of medical support for kidney issues at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Through his battles he kept an eye on the prize – helping other children in need.
Chance founded Giving Chances Foundation to assist children in foster care. He learned from a fellow patient at PCH of the needs of children in foster care on the Navajo Indian Reservation – and then he set out to do something about it! He reached out to his school administrators and asked if he could take the unclaimed items in the school’s lost and found to help kids in Tuba City, Arizona. He solicited donations from family and friends – bottled water, clothing, toiletries, personal care items and more. He posted on social media of his efforts, and hearing of what this dynamic young man wanted to accomplish, Arizona Helping Hands came in to lend our Helping Hands to enhance this project. Beds and cribs for children in foster care, plus diapers, back to school supplies and more, PLUS the use of our 20 foot box truck for delivery will make this – the FIRST of Chance’s projects – a huge benefit for children of the Navajo Nation.
For someone of such a young age to look beyond themselves, to recognize the needs of others and make this their priority is a lesson we all need to heed, especially in this challenging time for our nation.
Sloane, Jordyn, Chance and so many other young people we meet have learned the core value of compassion for others and love for our fellow man that I see as lacking in so many “leaders” and groups today. They are the hope for our future. They are the bright stars who have the heart and the initiative to do what’s truly best for their peers – boys and girls who truly need love not hate, hope not despair.
I pray that the message these boys and girls are spreading can be heard over all of the noise in today’s society. An internet quote from Zero Dean states “Anger and hate dig holes, Love and kindness move mountains, choose your motivation wisely.” For me, along with these very inspiring youngsters, I choose love and kindness. I can only hope that our leaders and all in our community will learn from the wisdom of these children. We don’t need to dig any more holes, but there are plenty of mountains in need of moving.