with Talyaa Liera
I'm Talyaa, the poster child for the concept that there's no one right way to be a parent. I went from stay-at-home attachment-parenting mom of four to being the non-custodial parent, working as a professional writer and channel-psychic. Let's talk about throwing away the parenting manual and exploding the myths and mystique of motherhood!
Check out my personal blog at Juxtapositioning.
When my older son was 7, he decided to relieve me of the 30 minute each way country-lane commute to his school every morning and afternoon. After all, he reasoned, surely I could do something else with the two hours-plus I spent every day in the car, taking him to school and picking him up again. A train. A nice friendly train. Yes, our community really did need a train that went from exactly our house to exactly his school.
So he decided to raise money for the train — by making felted wool balls at home and selling them in his school’s store. It all made sense. So he got to work. After the first day he decided that it would take a LOT of felted wool balls to buy a real live train.
Remember those days? Kids are relentless optimists. Who else expects to make a zillion dollars from a sidewalk stand selling cups of warm lemonade? I know I had high hopes when it came to selling magazines or greeting cards or sending in my Can You Draw This Pirate? artwork and winning a trip to art school.
But kids really do make a difference. Kids like yours. And I think we parents have an obligation to support them.
Zach Bonner, 11, saw homeless people in his community and wanted to do something to help them, especially children. So he decided to walk the 1200 miles from his home to Washington DC to raise money and awareness. Along the way (the trip took him 3 years to complete) he created his own non-profit, The Little Red Wagon Foundation.
Pat Pedraja found out how difficult it is to find bone marrow donors while he was sick in the hospital with leukemia at age 10. Though bone marrow wasn’t an issue Pat faced personally, he took on the cause as his own and, with his family, rented an RV and established Driving for Donors. To date, his organization has added over 10,000 donors to the National Bone Marrow Registry.
Eric Mitchell, a graduating senior in Puyallup Washington, needed a community service project in order to fulfill Eagle Scout requirements. With the aid if his scout troop he painted 350 storm drains in Pierce County, WA to raise awareness of the link between storm drains and water quality. Most people don’t realize the water that enters storm drains goes directly to local streams, lakes, and wetlands without treatment from the sanitary sewer system. Storm drains painted with “Dump No Waste – Drains to Stream” help promote awareness.
Ana Dodsen was adopted at age three from her native Peru. At 11 her parents took her to visit her native country and she was devastated by the poverty she saw there. She returned and founded Peruvian Hearts, an organization that provides much needed support and supplies to needy children in Peru. Dodsen has spoken in front of the UN and her work has been featured on CNN.
Inspired? Your kids can make a difference in your community — perhaps they already are! What pie-in-the-sky ideas have your kids had to help your community? What activities do you already engage in as a family to help others around you?
Here’s a list of ways kids can help out in their communities.
More ideas from Artists Helping Children.
Photo credit: octavioags, SXC
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