For me growing up was much like everyone elses’ childhood. We had lots of love, fun, family gatherings and lots of food. The exception to this was the looming cloud that the adults carried as they prayed that this day wasn’t the last. You see my older sister, pictured above in blue, was fighting a deadly illness. And because of this our family resources were stretched way beyond the limits.
The Importance of Giving Back
If it hadn’t been for fundraisers and the generosity of the community when I was younger I honestly don’t know what we would have done. My first experience of giving was when I was 4 and I was my sister’s bone marrow donor. Now I know you may think that at 4 years old I didn’t have a choice but I did. I clearly remember being sat down and talked to by the doctor. He told me what was going on. He asked me what I thought and if I wanted to be her bone marrow donor? Without even a second thought I said yes. Sadly however, 10 years after the bone marrow transplant my sister passed away.
I am not telling you this for you to be sad but for you to see that from a very young age it has been important to me to give to others. When I became a mom it was very important that I teach my kids the importance of thinking of others and giving back as much as we could.
Recently I took my youngest to go back to school shopping. Earlier in the week we went to the elementary school open house to meet the girls teachers. While there we were told they were holding a school supply drive for those kids in need. Emma asked if we could donate to the supply drive and of course I said yes.
Elmer’s Bag It Forward
There are many ways you can give back in your community. Elmer’s – the brand of glue we all grew up on – has a great program called #BagItForward. The program is a call to action to make sure that every child has what they need to be successful this school year. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to make sure their classrooms are stocked and that each kid has what they need. Bag It Forward is a way to help save the teachers from having to spend so much while giving back to those in your community. I am proud to say that this morning that Emma took two bags of school supplies to school to donate to the school supply drive.
You can join the Elmer’s Bag It Forward mission this school year as well. When you do your back to school shopping pick up extras of what you are buying and donate them to your school or local community school supply drive. The time and small investment you make will have a HUGE long-term effect on those you help, even if you don’t realize it.