What do you do when your son or daughter tells you that their sneakers don’t feel comfortable anymore or, when they no longer like the style of sneaker that they’re wearing? Or, as is often the case in my house, they simply outgrow their pair before they even show much wear and tear? Many of us recycle them to the consignment shop in our towns, or give to the local charities that will distribute them to people in need. That’s exactly what I’ve always done in the hopes that someone would benefit from those gently used sneakers. Recently, I’ve gone one step further and I’ve collected gently used sneakers for kids in the Dominican Republic that play baseball. We also collected bats, cleats, gloves, and baseballs, but far and away we hit the mother-load with sneakers.
We (my boyfriend and myself) took up the collection in our local communities, and a contact in the DR made the arrangements for distribution. It took a little time and coordination but the knowledge that we were making a difference in the lives of these kids made it all worthwhile.
Volunteering and giving back are part of my DNA. I know how very lucky I am and, I’m not referring to the things that I’ve done to MAKE MY LUCK.
I’m referring to being borne into a family that was able to provide me with the fundamentals…food, shelter, and clothing and as I got older, I began to realize that not every child was as lucky as I was. That mindset has stuck with me through the years, and I have made it a point to use my good fortune in life to help others.
We don’t have a say in the circumstances we are born into, and as young children we can do little to change up our situation. It seemed to me that if I could help these kids by giving them the equipment they need to play the game that they love and thereby bring some joy into their lives, I would be doing a very good thing indeed.
As a Mom I always try to be the very best role model that I can be for my two girls as well as my boyfriend’s sons, and generosity is a quality I intend to nurture in them.
Knowing that there are kids in the Dominican Republic enjoying their time on the baseball field, in part because of the equipment and sneakers that we provided, makes me feel that perhaps, I am the luckiest recipient of all.
“The gift of giving” is so very true.