Why I believe it’s important to give back

Yoplait has pink lids on the top of their yogurt and if you send them in to Save Lids to Save Lives Yoplait will donate $.10 for each cover.

I have a tiny pile on my kitchen counter and ever so often I send them out. Last week I told my son to put his “lid” on the counter so I could mail it. He read the lid and quite firmly said, “Mom, they are trying to raise $1.5 million dollars. How can our few lids even help?”

Jordan’s 12 and to him $.10 to get to $1.5 million is “impossible”. So I had to tell him a little story about why I think it’s so important to give back even if it is only $.10 at a time.

When I was about a year old than him (13) my best friend, Jenna, was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of leukemia. Jenna was one of two girls in family of (oh, about 9 kids) so the medical bills were a hardship on her family (this I overheard from my parents). The town we lived in had about 200 people and one Catholic church, which most people attended.

At 13 I remember sitting in church thinking that if every family in the church gave a mere $5.00 that would raise a considerable amount of money for her parents (based on my rough calculations during the sermon I figured that would be about $500 – def a small fortune to a 13 year old). But what I didn’t understand is why our Priest never took up a special collection for the family.

Within a few short months Jenna died and the next year, at the mark of the one year anniversary of her death, I was brave enough to ask the Priest if we could “surprise” Jenna’s parents during Mass with a special song for her. He agreed and I rounded up all her closest friends so we could sing a special song in her memory.

While what I did at 14 by getting a few friends together to sing isn’t monumental by anyone’s standards (except to a child) I can still clearly remember the warmth and surprise on her parent’s faces as we finished our song. In our own way we made a huge impact on someone else.

To this day I’m the type of person who will always go to “bat” for the underdog and help out people and causes that resonate with me. Yes….my yogurt lid only raises $.10 but can I help a greater cause? Can I get Yoplait $.10 closer to their goal of $1.5 million? Will I make a difference in someone’s life….yes…I know I will.

And that, dear Jordan, is why I believe it’s important to give back – because I lost my best friend when I was about your age and I’ve never forgotten her.

What steps, even if small, can you take today to give back to a cause greater than you are?