Saturday, 26 April 2014

Charity Work - Living outside our own little world

Today we had a great opportunity as a family to support one of Colin's best friends.  Keagan, a charming and sweet 9 year old from school, shaved his head after raising funds for the "Cops for Cancer" fundraiser.  He sold 289 t-shirts at $5 each, and raised an additional $600.  That's over $2000.

Keagan's mother is a police officer, and told him the story of how Cops for Cancer started.  A 5 year old boy in Western Canada was being teased at school because chemotherapy had caused him to lose all his hair.  A police officer in the school heard the words from this little boy, and reassured him that "it's just hair."  But that officer didn't stop there.  He went home and shaved his own head.  Then he returned to the school and announced in an assembly that if anyone wanted to tease someone because they were bald, they could tease him.

Keagan heard this story and was moved to do something, too.  And when I heard it, I was moved.  So we donned our t-shirts, packed up the kids and headed down to the city where Keagan stood on stage in the centre court of Square One (a major shopping mall) and had his head shaved.

As I stood with the boys, I talked with them about this.  Keagan does not have cancer, and he hasn't been bullied.  I asked the boys to think about why Keagan would shave his head if these issues don't directly affect him.  The wheels were turning, and I hope that this experience will sit with them for years to come.

We enjoyed a great lunch out with Keagan's family after.  When I approached James about spending a good chunk of our Saturday in this way, he not only saw the importance of showing the boys how to support good causes, but also how to support a best friend.  "Friendships are forged through common experiences," James noted, and I readily agreed.

You never know when an experience will leave a lasting impression on you or your kids.  I hope that as I provide opportunities like these for the kids to see love and charity in action it will start to leave a mark on their own hearts that will lead to action on their part.

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