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What are you grateful for?

When we’re kids, it’s often hard to realize just how many gifts we have in our lives, and how grateful we should be for such gifts. We weren’t mature enough to realize that not everyone has the same luxuries as we did. Similarly, we didn’t understand how fortunate we were to have families, friends, food on the table, and a roof over our heads. These were commodities we took for granted and simply assumed were provided to everyone.

I remember last Christmas sitting in my car listening to a couple of radio DJ’s broadcasting live from the Children’s Hospital where they were holding a telethon to raise money for the kids. Sitting in traffic after a long day at work, I was irritated and ready to go home, but listening to the amazing stories of survival and the kindness of donors changed my perspective. One particular moment struck me: the DJ’s were talking to a little boy who had brought his piggy bank in and wanted to donate everything in it to the telethon. Before I knew what was happening, I was crying over the selflessness this little boy showed and the awareness he had of the fragile state of the patients and their families in that hospital. He knew he was lucky to have his health and was willing to give everything he had to provide that same happiness to someone else.

As we grow older, we begin to understand the state of the world and the great need there is to support those who are less fortunate. This year, I am still grateful for my family and the fact that my parents let me live in my childhood home while I save up for my own place. I’m grateful to my friends for their support, even when I do crazy things. I’m grateful for the gifts I am given and the ability to appreciate them each day as they should be appreciated.

But above all, I am grateful, and humbled, by the philanthropic spirit I have seen so many people express. As I have been exposed to more and more individuals who are willing to give to others, I have become inspired to spread the news and do everything I can to help better the world. I am grateful for the lessons each one has taught me about making the world better through a smile, an hour of time, or a dollar. I am grateful to be in a position to give my time, talent and treasure the knowledge that I am doing my part. To give it the greatest gift, and I am truly grateful be able to spread that gift, and to see others spread it as well.

At Boys Hope Girls Hope, young people learn the value of giving back to community. Through monthly volunteering with other nonprofits like Freedom Service Dogs and Special Olympics, our scholars make the world a better place. Click here to learn more about our program.

Do you believe parents should instill the “be grateful for what you have” idea in their kids from an early age?

At what age do you think kids should start learning about the need for philanthropy and encouraged to give, like the little boy in the Children’s Hospital story?