That is the motivation behind a community event I helped organize to raise money for a little-known outreach program.
After gaining custody of my 14-year-old daughter Destinee this past February, I enrolled her in North Clay Middle School. That's when I learned about a wonderful program at the school, the Clothes Closet.
It is designed to help students in need, even if it is simply because a child needs a replacement shirt due to a lunchtime accident from a spilled tray.
Now, if that were what the entire program was used for, it would be a nice gesture. But still, not a big deal.
However, upon further investigation, it turns out the program provides much more. There is more help, heart and love involved in this program that most people never know anything about.
Truth is, there are several students who have financial needs that go a little further then needing a clean shirt or a free lunch. Some of them need not only proper clothing, but socks and underclothing as well.
Thankfully, the program is there to help those students. Sometimes, all it takes to brighten a child's day and help them feel better is the simple gift of a few clothes given out of love.
Every child deserves to be fed and clothed, and if the middle school is willing to do both, I know I want to be part of it. I hope you do, too.
So now, with a lot of help from so many other people, the wheels have been set in motion and a community fundraising event will take place this Thursday. There are way too many children out there who are struggling, hurting and going without. We can't stand by and do nothing about it.
I would like to challenge everyone to think about "what if" it was your child who was in need.
What if the unexpected happened, if you were laid off without warning? What if there was an accident that prevented you from going back to work and providing for your family?
What if there was a fire and you lost everything?
What if your child was diagnosed with leukemia?
How would our attitude and outlook change if it weren't just a story you read or heard about? It's easy to hear a sad story, have a quick moment of sympathy, maybe even say a quick prayer for the family and then move on, do nothing and then forget all about it.
I hate to be repetitive, but what if it were your child -- just not another life, another story? Is that what you would want? Would you want more than a little sympathy and maybe a short prayer?
Or would you be praying someone would help?
That someone somewhere would reach out to help stop the suffering of your child, keep your child from starving, provide clothing when there is none and help your child get the necessary medical treatment they desperately need to stay alive.
These thoughts run through my mind when I ask myself, "What if it were my child?"
There are real children in real need out there in our community, and this event is an opportunity to do something about it. It may not be your child now, but that doesn't mean it might not be your child in the future.
This is a chance to live the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
So let's get out and raise some money for our students in need and have some fun all in one night.
The fun will take place from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, at the Brazil Walnut Theater. While tickets are $3 at the door, absolutely no one will be turned away.
Everyone is welcome and, more importantly, "wanted" to participate in this memorable fundraising event that will donate 100 percent of the proceeds collected to help these students in need.