Growing up in rural Louisiana I witnessed the financial challenges many families endured and how that impacted the lives of children. By having a father who was our school district’s Superintendent for many years I learned the importance of education as a way to promote a better future for all of those who take full advantage.
Kids who are well nourished are more likely to reach their educational potential, which can additionally foster increased self-confidence and a positive life style. All of us who are in more fortunate circumstances have a responsibility to make our communities and great country even better and “For the Kids” aims to do just that.
As proud supporters of the University of Utah Hospital Foundation and Louisiana FFA, my wife and I have seen firsthand the positive impact of financial giving and the long lasting effect that may have on our youth. I invite you to join us on this undertaking to help these kids reach their full educational capabilities, so they may have the opportunity to excel today and for the many tomorrows.
The truth is that I know I lack natural charisma and I don’t inspire people as easily as others, but what I do have is my story. I have a passion for volunteering because of where I came from. I start with a quote “Get Started, Make it happen”. (Author Unknown).
It really can be that simple.
My family poverty started when I was 5 years old and continued all the way through high school. I have a passion for helping children because I was one of those kids being swallowed up by poverty, wanting more but having no idea how to get there.
Part of my childhood was spent living at The Hub Motel and at times we lived in the back of a truck when we were in between motels or apartments. A single wide trailer with mismatching siding was what I came to call home until I was able to move in with a caring family and graduate high school. The help that I received during that time made a huge impact on me. I am not sure where I would be today if caring people had not shown me compassion and inspired me to believe that I could be more than what I was born into. I have grown to understand that it is not only important to plant a seed that grows hope in children but that when the effort is given you can make a difference.
After recovering from a decade long illness that left me completely bedridden, I started traveling the world. My eyes became open to the plight of children in some of the most poverty stricken countries of South East Asia, Central America, and Indonesia, and my heart swelled with a desire to help.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this same poverty could exist in the United States, in Utah even.
I had to travel the entire world to see what I had not seen in my own backyard. I have since come to realize that it is a privilege to serve in our very own neighborhood. To make a change in the lives of children in our own community, means that we can improve our own lives and the lives of others right where we live.
It's not just feeding hungry kids, but changing their futures, and improving the future for us all. I am inspired by all the people around me who donate their time and resources to help others. Everyday I am surrounded by people who change the world. I cannot change the world. I cannot bring peace to our planet, fix climate change, or cure cancer. But I can make sure that hungry kids get fed.
In a world with ever growing needs and challenges, it is amazing to me, that there still are some problems that we don't need to wait for scientists, or world leaders to fix. Some problems can be fixed with Kraft Easy Mac and Cheese.
And today, we might just be feeding tomorrows scientists and world leaders.