Just a Little Effort

"Just a little effort can go a long way…

I’m not particularly great at anything, but I love being a father, and I strive hard to provide my three sons with the best childhood experience possible. Our children get to travel, receive gifts on a regular basis, visit with friends, and generally partake of dessert way too often. Now, let me be clear, our budget looks like an emergency triage zone at the moment, but our children would never guess it. Why? Because we have a number of people in our circle of family and friends that help make it all possible. Whether the help comes in the form of prayer, time, or financial assistance, it all works together to make life happen. As they say, it takes a village.

In my role as Director of Launch Kenmore (an elementary after-school program), I regularly encounter families that do not have this basket of support to carry them. For example, single-parent homes that struggle just to provide the basics of life or children that have hardly traveled outside the local city borders. We've encountered students who are in desperate need of someone to help them with reading and math. We've met mothers, fathers, and grandparents that hide their various needs behind a veneer of pride. What can be done?

Effort. Just a little effort. So often this is all that is needed to make a substantial impact in another individual’s life. Most of us are full of good intentions and great ideas, but we withhold ourselves when it comes time to get some skin in the game. Sometimes, I think we feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the need. However, I have learned that little gestures of kindness, generosity and a genuine smile can have an enormous impact and bring hope. Do you have children? Think of a family you know who may be struggling and invite them to spend time with you and your kiddos at a park. Do you have money? Find a quiet and selfless way to bless a family in need. Do you have connections? Then connect!

Recently, I had the privilege of being the connector in one of these acts of kindness. A number of anonymous individuals made it possible for a group of students from our after-school program to attend an awesome local church camp over the summer. While going to camp is not tremendously expensive, the cost for this would have been way out of the reach of our families. During the process of visiting homes to have paperwork filled out, the parents were blown-away that somebody would do this for them. The students were extremely excited to attend (mostly for the first time) and since then there has been a great sense of connection with the families that has opened new doors of conversation.

The donors that made camp possible for our students put a little effort in… What is the effort you can put into giving someone hope? How can you have an impact?"

- Nathan Chaney, LAUNCH Kenmore Director

P.s. Visit FirstGlance.org/recurring to get involved and learn how it doesn't take much for you to have a significant impact with our students!

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