In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national day of volunteer service. On this day I am recommitting myself to bringing as much hope and healing to children who are hurting and who wake up every day without parents to love them.
All around our world there are orphaned children who are sick with no one to hold them, who are afraid during the storms with no one to reassure them, and who are wondering what they did to end up so very alone. I also want to use this day to encourage others to make the same commitment to a child in need, no matter which country that child is from.
It is hard to get an exact figure on how many children live on this earth as orphans. I have read numbers from 35 to 100 million. Even if it is somewhere in the middle, that means over 50 MILLION children are growing up without a family committed to their future. After working with orphaned children for the last six years, I know all too well the lifelong effects that being on your own as a child can cause.
Making an investment in the lives of children is without a doubt the absolute best investment we can make for our world. Children who grow up feeling unloved and unworthy rarely are able to see this world as a place of hope. I challenge everyone today to find one way in your life to invest in a child who is hurting, whether that child is your next door neighbor, in a foster care program two states over, or living in an orphanage overseas. While I know our world is a busy one and that economic times are hard for all, I also know that committing to help someone “tomorrow” doesn’t change the lives of those who are sick, and often dying, TODAY.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Without a doubt, every single child on this earth matters. And we can no longer stay silent to the fact that far too many children are being forgotten. So use this day to step out of your comfort zone. Pick a country that speaks to your heart, whether it is the U.S., or Haiti, or Mexico, or China. Every child deserves help when they are hurting. Choose a country, choose a charity, choose this moment, and commit to action. With over seven billion people on this planet, I believe there is a home or at least a helping hand for every single child on this earth who is alone. Let’s make 2009 a year of no excuses. If you don’t have 20 hours to volunteer, give just one. I can’t imagine a charity without jobs that need to be done, from writing thank you letters to donors, to writing reports, to running programs. If you don’t have $100 to give, then give just $1. No donation is ever too small when given in love to a child in need. Charities put those dollars together to bring real change. And if you truly have absolutely no time and absolutely no money to give, then use your voice to tell others who might that TODAY there are children living with very little hope. For the well-being of our world, there can be no more excuses for not helping them. One world, one commitment to change…. for ALL children.
Love Without Boundaries Foundation