I was recently struck by an article about a kid who wrote to Lego asking for a job. Though his mother tried to set realistic expectations for him and help him understand he might not hear back, he did, receiving a handwritten letter from an executive member of the Lego U.K. and Ireland team.
Though responding to the child might’ve felt like a small act of kindness for the Lego executive, his actions made a lasting impression on the young boy that may have long-term positive effects on his confidence and his future.
This struck me in particular because early on in my career, I had the opportunity to work at a school with children who came from a variety of home and family situations, many different than my own upbringing. Though I was often the “dreaded” substitute teacher, over time, I came to form bonds with some of the students that I saw on a regular basis.
Connecting with some of these kids, and understanding that, for some, a conversation with me or my coworkers could help them feel seen or heard in a way that they may not often feel felt good. It was nice to know that I felt like a “safe space” to them.
Though substitute teaching was never the long-term plan, I’ve since enjoyed finding other ways to try to connect with those in the next generation to help provide support. Since moving to Georgia, I’ve adopted an annual ritual with friends and family to partake in Families First’s Gift-a-Family campaign every November. To partake, donors can choose to “adopt” a family that needs a little help bringing the holiday cheer home.
As someone who has always enjoyed the holidays for the cheer and joy they bring, it’s nice to think that my own small donation can help to bring that same feeling to others’ homes who might not have been expecting to experience it this year. Alongside friends and family, we shop their wish lists to send them some items that they need to help them start off the New Year right with some new clothes, maybe some additional school supplies, and even some toys to bring some fun.
For those who want to get involved with the organization, in addition to taking part in their Gift-a-Family campaign or our T/K Raise campaign, they are regularly looking for in-kind donations. To donate to our T/K Raise, please visit https://givebutter.com/tkraisefamiliesfirst.