Several years ago, I took my oldest son to Chicago for an early 12th birthday present. Because my wife and I believe in instilling charitable values in our children, we also found a volunteer organization to serve on our trip. We chose Dreams for Kids, a Chicago-based organization that serves underprivileged children.
Our volunteer experience with Holiday for Hope party included unloading two truck loads of presents, craft making, cookie decorating, caroling, and more. We plan to spend half of the day volunteering and the other half enjoying some museums in downtown Chicago.
As we were departing, I could tell my son was torn. He was having a great time serving the kids. Since I had pre-purchased museum tickets and strongly dislike wasting money, we had to leave if we were to visit the museums.
As we were stepping onto the train at the station across the street from the event, my son grabbed my arm and said, “Dad, I want to go back to the party!” It was such a tender moment. I was so proud of him, that I shared that story countless times over many years. I even used it as an example in one of my keynote speeches on numerous occasions.
As parents, few things should make us prouder than having a child that chooses serving over having. When my son became an adult, he heard me tell that story. Afterward, he admitted that he had an ulterior motive to return to the party. There was this cute girl he told me…ah, the truth finally came out!
Regardless, it was a powerful experience and one we decided to repeat in our community. This year marked the 12th year for our family of hosting a Christmas party for those less fortunate. While our party doesn’t attract anywhere near the 1200 kids that attended the Holiday of Hope party in Chicago, it still makes a difference and my family loves this annual tradition.
What about you? What do you do or what can you do to bring happiness to others?
These ideas are so simple and maybe obvious but worth a reminder.
- Volunteer as a Salvation Army ringer
- Visit a shut-in in your community
- Go caroling in your neighborhood
- Adopt a family and help make their Christmas more special
- Buy a coffee for the person behind you at your favorite coffee shop
- Deliver cookies to someone who has lost a spouse, parent, or child
- Pick up trash while wearing a Santa hat
#Pausitivity #LeadershipDevelopment #Hope #Christmas #PausetoSpreadChristmasCheer