So after 6 weeks of talking about childhood cancer and wearing shirts and ribbons to promote awareness of childhood cancer, I decided that it was time to start doing something to raise money for childhood cancer. I learned via Facebook that Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is doing a Change Childhood Cancer event in an attempt to raise $50,000 to put toward a research grant. The event asks students to collect change and raise money toward research into finding a cure.
My daughters attend a wonderful school and I knew that there would be great support there for this event. And sure enough, when I told the school of my plans, the administrators and teachers were more than happy to help. So I ordered my supplies and today, I went into the children’s classrooms to talk about the fundraiser and ask for their help.
To say I was touched by the children’s reactions is an understatement.
As I read a book with Alex’s story to the children–who ranged in age from kindergarten through 5th grade–they were attentive, interested and excited to be part of it. And after I read the book in each classroom, I asked the children whether they had any questions or things they wanted to say. So many of them told stories about people they knew who had cancer. Some had seen Alex’s Lemonade Stands and one 4th-grade boy had even held one of the lemonade stands himself!
But what touched my heart so deeply and what has stayed with me in the hours that have passed since I visited the school, is the inherent generosity of the children. So many of them told me that they were saving up for a toy, or a doll, or a game but that they were going to take that money from their piggy banks and put it into their cup instead. It brought me and several of the teachers to tears.
And when I thanked them and said that every penny they put into their cup will help doctors find medicines to help sick kids, some even asked whether it was okay to put $1, $5, or even $10 bills in their cups.
Now we all know that to a child, any kind of bill is a lot of money. That they would even consider taking that money from their own piggy banks and donating it to this cause just goes to underscore how innately beautiful and innocent and generous children are. Case in point: Look at Alexandra Scott–she was one of the the most generous children of them all.
After seeing what I saw today, I have concluded that the drive toward awareness and change isn’t necessarily going to come from adults, who often are too busy and too involved in the stress of their daily lives to really see how important this cause is. The change–literally and figuratively–is going to come from children, who will teach us the importance of giving through the generosity that overflows from their untainted, innocent hearts.
We can learn a lot from these children.