Friday, May 1, 2015

Won't Somebody Think Of The Children!

My 40th birthday is next week. It's not something I've been thinking about much lately because I've had better things to think about. Mostly it's been big work projects, but also big art projects, plenty of music, a full-fledged social revolution, and that Star Wars trailer, amirite!

Anyway, now I'm thinking about it a lot, or more specifically I'm thinking about the one and only gift I want for my birthday: I want to raise $4,000 for the Homeless Children's Network.

It's kind of ironic really. I'm not what you'd call a child enthusiast. You know those people on the street who stop you to ask for charitable donations, the "do you have a minute to stop the destruction of the Earth" people. Yeah, so one day one of those people asked me, "do you love children?", and I said, "I don't think you want me to answer that."

However, I have a few teacher friends who've shared stories with me about what happens to their students who lose their homes, and those stories broke my cold, dead heart. Kids who did great, got good grades, had good attendance, and played well with others suddenly were failing academically, acting antisocial and violent towards their peers and teachers, self-harming, or disappearing from school all together. My teacher friends would get the rundown from a school counselor or social worker, or sometimes from the kids themselves: their mom moved them and their siblings into a domestic violence shelter; they were evicted from their home and were living in the car with their dad; they were kicked out of their home because of their addiction and had nowhere to go. These kids were often living with traumatic circumstances to begin with, but the trauma of homelessness was so strong as to lead them away from the stability and opportunities at school.

I found out about the Homeless Children's Network because I happen to have a bunch of friends on the board. As soon as I understood what the HCN offers to homeless kids and their families, it was crystal clear to me how important their services are. HCN provides counseling, substance abuse treatment, parenting skills, and other services vital to breaking the cycle of homelessness. When a child is only ever taught violence, poverty, and instability, that child will become an adult who only knows violence, poverty, and instability, and a parent who in turn teaches their children violence, poverty, and instability. HCN not only helps individual kids and families, but is a piece of the solution for all homelessness.

So, my birthday wish is to help the HCN out, and I need you to help me do that. I'm going to run the HCN's 5K fundraiser on Sunday, May 3, and I would love it if you would sponsor me. I've already received a ton of donations, and with deep gratitude give a hearty thank you to everyone who's donated so far. I know we can raise more, though. Whatever amount we give, it'll be put to excellent use serving homeless kids, so in that we can't fail.

But c'mon, now. It's my birthday. Let's raise some real money here. And if you're not a kid enthusiast, either, whatever. Do it for me - click here to donate.

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