I wasn’t granted the gift of having children of my own. It took me many years before I realized the true gift was in not having my own. I have been able to create a number of programs and participate in others I believe are of importance to children who might not have champions working on their behalf.
I first became aware of the difficulty of youth was when I took my brother Tony away from my parents when he was 15. I was only 22 and often questioned “What were you thinking?”
We got through it and remained life long friends until his passing in 2008 after a ten year series of major health issues. There were several times I would go through a couple of years and not year from him, like the time when he was 22 and went to the store for a pack of cigarettes and ended up hitch hiking through Texas, the Blue Mountains of Tennessee, Washington D.C. and eventually made his way to New York where he ended up modeling for Pierre Cardin, which took him two years.
He never quite felt like he belonged anywhere in particular. He thought nothing of just getting up and leaving, getting distracted by a project, people or many things I’m sure I’m grateful I didn’t know about.
He always inspired me however, to take the time to do a Random Act of Kindness when it came to children. I founded Youth Enterprise for youth 15-18 in Chico when Tony lived with me. I became the director of the Starlight Foundation in 1985 and from 1986 – 1996 I raised funds for various Bay Area organizations through a series of annual golf tournaments. I even talked to several life insurance agencies about how they could support the one facility we had in the Bay Area for abused children in the ’90’s.
There will never be enough programs when it comes to providing care for children who are not getting the loving care they deserve from their own homes.
I hope in some way this blog will inspire others to got out into their community and see what they can do to make a safe, more loving environment for children.
We never know what a simple Random Act of Kindness might lead to.