Sometimes you need to go to extremes…
When I started my kindness challenge last year, I had no idea that it would have such an incredible impact in my life. But over the course of 30 days, I changed. I realized a very important lesson: that I had the power to make the world better–one little act of kindness at a time.
And while my 30 day challenge may have officially ended, my drive to continue acts of kindness has not. In fact, it’s only increased; now I want to do more.
A lot more.
Like repel down a 27 story building more.
Yep–that’s right…in a few months I’ll be hanging off one of the tallest buildings in downtown…all in the name of kindness.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has an event, “Over the Edge”. In an effort to raise money for the organization, people sign up to literally go over the edge and repel down 27 stories. Terrifying? Yes. Something I knew I had to do? YES!
But here’s where it gets tricky…unlike my other acts of kindness, this is one I can’t do alone. This one requires help. I need to raise money….a minimum of a thousand dollars to be precise.
Fundraising is new to me–and to be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable with it. I know people are strained–working hard to just make ends meet, spending money on their kids, trying to save. So it’s hard for me to ask for donations. But that’s actually what I’m going to do–because I truly believe in this organization, their mission and how they can change lives. However, I think it’s fair for me to explain why I’m so passionate about Big Brothers Big Sisters and why I hope you’ll help me.
So here they are…my top 5 (serious and not-so-serious) reasons why I want to go “Over the Edge” and raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
1. To prove that Spiderman isn’t the only hero in town. My four year old daughter definitely has her own personality. As a tom boy, she is obsessed with super-heroes and has a particular fascination with Spiderman. And really, who can blame her? Let’s face it, Spiderman’s cool. While I’m fairly certain I won’t look nearly as coordinated as Spiderman when I’m likely screaming my lungs out feeling like I’m falling off a building, I hope I can show my daughter that you don’t have to be a super-hero to help people.
But maybe I should start thinking about a cool costume to wear–what do you think?
2. To freak out my husband. There’s a saying that I love, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” I would remind myself of these words over and over when I was training for my marathon. It was one of the first things I attempted that I wasn’t sure I’d succeed. And to me, that was scary. But the truth is, I believe that life is about having crazy, big dreams…and the courage to go after them.
But me repelling off the building, well…this not only scares ME, but I’m pretty sure it terrifies my husband. “I don’t think you know what you’re getting into.” Probably true. But nothing like the risk of death to keep a spark in your marriage, right?
3. I get to pretend that I’m on Celebrity Apprentice. I’m not afraid to admit it…I love reality TV. Deep down, I know that it’s really terrible television…but I don’t care. I work hard all day…I have two little monsters that terrorize my house on a regular basis…I need a brain break! At the top of my list of must-watch shows is Celebrity Apprentice. The train-wreck of watching the cast of mainly D-list celebrities make fools of themselves for some reason is incredibly entertaining to me.
Each week I like to play a little game: What would I do if I was on the show? In my mind I pretend that I’m the “Project Manager”, desperately trying to win the task and impress The Donald.
Well, raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters is probably as close as I’m every going to get to living this fantasy.
If you’ve never seen this piece of television heaven, I’ll quickly fill you in. On the show, celebrities do all kinds of things–dress up like cave men, sing funny songs, cook sandwiches…all to raise money for their favorite charity. I think repelling off a building is right up there and something that Trump himself would endorse.
I currently sit on the board for a group and manage their charity activities. I contacted Matt to talk with him about opportunities to help Big Brothers Big Sisters and instantly liked him.
He recently spoke at a lunch for my group. During his presentation, he told a story about two boys–the older one ended up getting into a lot of trouble: drugs, drinking, had a baby when he was 17, ended up in jail…you name it. The mom, worried that the younger son would follow in his older brother’s footsteps, called Big Brothers Big Sisters. The younger boy was matched with an older man and for over 10 years, the two developed a very strong bond. While the younger boy still had issues, now he had a mentor–he had support, someone who he trusted, someone he could talk to. The younger boy made better choices in his life: worked hard, studied abroad. He actually inspired the older brother to turn his life around as well.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Matt said next sentence, “That little boy was me.” Big Brothers Big Sisters changed his life–and his brother’s life. How many other little kids are just like Matt? How many kids just need to have someone who cares about them?
5. Kids emulate what they see. I know I have a great life. I have an exciting, successful career. I have a nice house filled with a husband and children I love. And while I worked very hard to get where I am today, I know that I owe everything to the people who were there to support me. The truth is, I grew up surrounded by people who loved me. My mom and my grandparents raised me with a strong work ethic and morals. I have sisters who would do anything for me (and I for them). I have a large extended family with more aunts, uncles and cousins than I can keep track of. And same thing in my professional life. I started as a college intern and was lucky to have had several people quickly take me under their wing.
But not everyone grows up in this kind of environment. I honestly believe that many times kids live the life they see. If they’re surrounded by people who made bad decisions, they’re more likely to make the same mistakes. If they grew up not knowing successful people, it’s harder for them to realize their “big, crazy dreams”.
Simply stated, every kid deserves a role model. A mentor. Someone who cares about them and who will help them make good choices. Period.
And I’m willing to repel down a building to help make that happen.
Every dollar counts…
If you agree, I would really appreciate if you could support me and make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Here’s my donation page. Even if you only have a few dollars, it would mean a lot to me…and a lot to the kids growing up like Matt.