Just last week I met a woman on the playground at my son's school who was wearing a Kai's Village t-shirt, an organization I've read about often. Kai was a little boy that recently lost his battle and friends and family founded 'Kai's Village' to honor his memory, spread awareness and give help to those in need. I never knew Kai or his family, but their dedication to that little boy and their cause has amazed me so I decided to approach this woman that I see every week and never talk to, and ask her the story about her shirt. Turns out she knew Kai through their community of helping hands because her daughter, an adorable little four year old who I see running around at my son's preschool all the time, is actually a cancer survivor herself. Luckily this sweet girl beat cancer and is able to tell their story and spread awareness while supporting others on their journey's...but wow. You just never know who you're sitting next to on the swing I guess... Anyway, we got to talking and I shared our story about the plunge and this woman actually ended up thanking me. She shared that her family was recently able to visit Camp Sunshine and be with other children and families, fighters and survivors of the same type of cancer her daughter had. It was fundraisers like the Polar Plunge that funded that trip and our efforts contributed to that. Again, just wow.
Being part of something bigger than yourself is amazing. Giving back, supporting people or a community, a cause that you're passionate about...there's nothing like it. But when you're involved in efforts like the Polar Plunge that benefit local families, and then come to realize that the people that benefit are not only deserving beyond words, but people right there next to you on the playground, children in your son's school, kids right there on the soccer field with you...beyond comprehension. Just being part of that event was enough to knock you off your feet with the rush of it all, but to still see the effects and the impact it has made, that's where you're just left saying, "Wow".
Read about Eric's Polar Plunge and more about how Doing Good Does You Good! And as my friend Maria (also an incredibly strong mother of a brave little fighter) has shared, "Don't let the stories sadden you to the point of ignoring them, let them inspire you to the point of making a difference."