In an effort to continue our trend of giving back this holiday season, a quick conference with my brother solidified our idea to give back instead of exchanging gifts this year. We found a local walk (so the littles could join us) and started raising money for our first ever 5k as a family – St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. So Saturday, November 23rd, we bundled up and headed out to Soldier Field. Marisa, Kaeli & my mom were there with us in spirit as they had other commitments, but they helped raise money along the way! The total crew walking that day included me, Jim, the boys, my brother and his three boys and my dad.
Imagine our surprise when we learned that this was the COLDEST November day since November of 2000. The plan was to walk ten laps on the Mezzanine Level and we would have finished the walk. Coats, hoodies, gloves, warmers, hats, strollers, wagons, and motivation was what we oomphed to get there. Two of our crew made it the full ten laps (YEAH, Poppy & David!) The rest of us took our time, took warmer & bathroom breaks, and made every effort to keep the littlest ones warm. Charlie even walked two laps on his own. We danced, we laughed, we walked. Did I mention it was FREEZING? But why did we do it?
When the hardest decision I have to make for my kids is what to feed them for breakfast that day. When the biggest thing I have to worry about for Charlie or Jack is whether they are warm enough and how quickly I can cover their shivers with a blanket. When we can walk, as a family, to bond, to laugh, to love. And with each couple steps seeing story after story of families whose lives look vastly different from ours. Who receive devastating news about the health of their child. Who wonder how to keep their child safe amidst a world of needles, medicines and doctors. We walk for them. This week, I give thanks. For family. for the health of our little ones. for the health of those around me. I give thanks for St. Jude’s who offers that hope to families.
And so one decision to give back gives $1,800.00+ to cancer research. The decision to walk forward means progress.
How will you change the course of history with a decision to just start walking?
If you’d like to give, you can view our team page here.
Join @SheSpeaksUp on Monday, November 25th at 9pm ET for a #ThanksandGiving Twitter Party to learn about how your family can give back during the holidays and how you can give thanks for the healthy kids in your lives, and give to those who are not. They will be giving away prizes every ten minutes.