Kelly: Grateful that Toledo gives backWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
It’s no surprise to you that the holidays are upon us. We’ve tried to do our part on “The Morning Rush” to remind everyone of what is most important during this time … giving back.
For the last 28 years we’ve done our Toy-A-Thon, where we collect new, unwrapped toys and cash for the Salvation Army. On Dec. 7, we collected more than 2,200 toys and an unofficial amount of money.
While I was broadcasting from the Franklin Park Mall, I saw a large number of parents taking the opportunity to explain to their children what we were doing. Some of the children got it … some did not. One thing it did do to me was make me thankful that there are parents out there still teaching this important lesson.
I grew up in a very modest home. I had two older brothers and an older sister. My father had a decent job, and my mom worked as a waitress. I can easily say that we did not have the finer things in life. I always had clothes on my back (albeit hand-me-downs), food in my stomach and a roof over my head. Even though I thought I had it hard, my parents did a good job teaching me that others had it worse.
It’s that lesson that I, as a father, am trying to pass on to my kids.
I spoke with a woman who had volunteered her children to help take toys from people and stack them during our Toy-a-thon. Her children were 11, 10 and 9. When I went over to meet them, I learned that when they heard their mom had signed them up to help with our Toy-A-Thon, they weren’t happy. They were mad their mom had taken one of their days off from school and made them stack toys that they were never going to get. But I watched them. I saw all three of them take toys from people and put them on the table. I watched them speak to other little kids and other volunteers. I actually noticed something amazing: I saw them get it. I saw the actual moment they understood exactly what was happening, and it was great.
I went over to meet their mom and tell her how impressed I was that she took the time to teach her kids about giving back. Even though her kids didn’t have every electronic gadget on the market, the best shoes or nicest clothes, their mom taught them that some kids don’t have anything. Some kids don’t even get one toy for Christmas. But … because they took time out on their day off from school, some less-fortunate kids are going to get something for Christmas. As far as I’m concerned, that’s one of the greatest gifts we as parents can give to our kids.
I saw their mom well up with pride, and rightfully so! She should be proud to pass on one of the most important lessons we can teach our children.
Like it or not, we live in a world where bad things happen and no one can offer an explanation as to why. We see things on the news that make us question the good in people. If you think your kids don’t see that as well, you’re wrong. Do them and the rest of the world a favor. Take some time out of your day and teach them how to give back. You may be surprised by how unbelievable it feels.
I am proud of you, Toledo. Every year you go out of your way and give to others who don’t have anything. I see you stand in line with your kids, fight the crowds and drop off a gift.
You make sure your kids see you do that, and for that I am grateful.
Sid Kelly is host of “The Morning Rush,” weekday mornings on 92.5 KISS FM.