Building strong families by helping others.

As a parent, I look for opportunities to guide my children through life’s lessons. I don’t always have the same experience as what they might be going through but the messages are often still relevant (otherwise I get the look like, “how is this supposed to help me?” or “Mom, you just don’t understand.”)

There are those times as well where I wish that some of the trials and tribulations of growing up would disappear and save them the grief. Not a very realistic view but a thought none the less.  Working through these hard times is often what makes us stronger and more tolerant of others.

This morning I woke to a story on the radio. The man speaking said he was challenging corporate Calgary to donate 1 new toy per employee, to the “Toy Mountain” initiative. He went on to tell of his motivation for this kind act. “I remember back to my many wonderful Christmas’s and it breaks my heart to think that there are children who might not have a toy to unwrap on Christmas morning.” he said. I got a tear in my eye picturing a child’s eyes light up in excitement.

This story has made me realize that my children, although we struggle at times, are very fortunate to have the things they do. Last year I pulled together some incredible volunteers to help me make nearly 200 pairs of fleece mittens for families in need. Although it felt wonderful to help others in need, and my children did lend a hand, the connection to those who would be receiving those items was not there. I have decided that it is this year that we will share our time and love with those less fortunate in our community and make visible difference. I have just over a week to find a cause before Christmas. Should you know of any cause that we(my children are 6, 11 and 14 years old) could help, please let me know.

This activity will, I hope, open their eyes to the realities of family life they do not currently understand.

As Michael Jackson and many more sang, “we are the world, we are the children…..” and yes I believe that we are, saving our own lives by making a difference for others.

Enjoy the holiday season with those you cherish. I know I will.

Rayna Young


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