An acquaintance of mine, from a time long past, volunteered to do a book drive for our little upstart children's literacy charity. I have become reacquainted with this person only recently (Sidenote: I am leaving their name out intentionally out of respect for their privacy). I can only assume that they had heard me speak or seen me share something about the efforts of my wife and I and wanted to get involved. The reason for their desire to help could have come from anywhere. A desire to help kids, the population we serve. A desire to help the poor, the demographic we serve. A desire to help engage children and young adults in books, the subject and tool of our charity. Whatever their reason, I thank them.
I make no illusions about the immediate reach and effectiveness of our new, little charity. There are larger groups out there and I am sure they are doing things that have a greater impact. Our charity is small, it is 100% volunteer driven and, as a new entity, we have limited resources. But in the short time of our existence I know we have brought Change to the lives of a large number of kids already. And we cannot wait to do more. The parents, teachers and program directors of the institutions we partner with have shared with us how this change brings hope to children and young adults, especially over time. Hope and Change, powerful drivers and key ingredients of growth, improvement and success.
Getting back to the story. My friend's book drive was successful. I offered to come get the books but they insisted on bringing closer to me. We decided to meet. And so we met in the parking lot of a national burger chain. And I loaded up all the books from their car to mine. Books that will bring about change and hope. Books that will hopefully inspire and ignite imaginations and make a difference in many, many lives.
I think perhaps we, somehow, over-complicate things. We look up and outward for solutions too often. We can solve a lot of our own problems by working together. That has been my experience anyway. The very best solutions to problems are often simple and they do not have to be instigated by celebrities, politicians and captains of industry. Every single one of us can do something.
So, where does Hope and Change happen? Simple. It can happen in the parking lot of a burger joint. I have witnessed it with my own eyes.
I want to take a moment to say thanks to "S" and everyone who has helped us make a difference in our immediate and ever-broadening community. THANKS!