A year and a half ago, on Christmas day, I attended a small christmas party hosted by a two friends, Conchi and Liz.
As soon as I arrived, a 4 year old girl latched on to my leg and wouldn’t let me go. She wouldn’t let anyone talk to me. She fought with other kids and was even a little aggressive with the other children who tried to approach me. After an hour or so of this situation, I began to feel anxious and wasn’t sure how to act. I have to confess; I was slightly annoyed but I stuck around. After a while, I needed to go to the restroom, so I told her I’d be right back. I can remember it as if it was yesterday; she grabbed my arm and asked: Promise you’re coming back? Please don’t leave me alone.
My heart sank. As I walked to the bathroom, it hit me… A heavy load of guilt came upon me for having felt annoyed at this little girl’s persistence. When I finally entered the bathroom, tears wouldn’t stop running down my face.
Here I was, I had lived a very comfortable life, and I had just spent 28 years feeling and behaving like a victim of my own sob story.
This little girl taught me so much in that moment and since that day, I knew I had to find a way to get involved and give back, even if it was little.
18 months and 7 children parties later, we are getting ready for our largest holiday celebration to date! We will be celebrating the 4th of July with children who have been abandoned or removed from their parents’ homes due to neglect or abuse.
What started as a few pizzas and 20 children, has somehow become a 150 children event, 6 dedicated board members volunteering their time to plan these and about 60 volunteers helping and supporting these efforts. We are now working on a teenager mentorship program and have collaborated with Jackson Memorial Hospital and other organizations!
Being a part of this makes my life so much more fulfilling and exciting and I can’t wait to see where else will this wonderful journey of life take me.
What motivates you? I’d love to learn about everyone’s passions and purpose.
Below are some of my favorite pictures from last year’s event. Happy 4th of July!