‘Tis the Season
I have a lot of people in my life who do important work to help others, help the planet, help animals, and make a difference. I am proud of my friends for being good people and am inspired by their generosity of spirit. Life is better when you lend a hand and share your blessings. I do my best to be kind and help those who need it. Sometimes it is through charitable giving, other times through volunteerism, and on many occasions, I help people who cross my path in unexpected ways. Helping simply requires one to be kind. You don’t always have to spend money or give up your time, you just have to be willing to give with no expectation of return.
I am inspired by people who help. They make me want to help more purposefully, and that makes me happy. Rich Singer and Travon Muhammad are remarkable people who help with purpose and direction. We recently met and they spoke of how they founded and run a registered 501(c) called Sole Brothers, based in Los Angeles. They are selfless with their time and talents and make a difference in a lot of lives. They help people who need shoes, or financial assistance to help with sports and recreation activities. It is not a charity I thought would speak to me personally, until they explained the kinds of things they do. One story in particular, touched me.
Important to note I am not really a sports person and don’t follow sports unless it’s the playoffs, and even then it is mostly because I like to bet on the games, not because of real interest. I follow athletes because they have compelling stories more than their accomplishments in their selected sports. As a single, working mother, sports became interesting through my son Charlie. He played basketball and soccer as a kid and excelled at both. It wasn’t always easy to get him the shoes he needed, or get him to all the practices and games, but I did. I would save up for weeks to buy him proper basketball and soccer shoes.
When Charlie was young there were times I didn’t have a lot of money, but I made sure he had what he needed to succeed, and sometimes something as simple as a pair of shoes impacts a child. It changes their self-esteem and gives them a push that as a mother, is something we value. My son would never ask for expensive things, and I remember his face when he got the newest pair of designer basketball shoes. He looked at me with a joy that was rooted in his soul, and I will forever be grateful for that moment. He would only wear the shoes to his games and practices, cleaning them when he got home. I remember it vividly and am thankful.
I was talking with Rich and Tra and they told me about giving shoes to one young kid who was playing basketball with regular shoes. To hear them speak of the little boy crying when he put on the shoes, made me think about Charlie and his shoes. They were able to provide to this child what his parents could not, and that is an amazing gift to not only the child but his mom and dad. I can promise you the mother of that boy cried more than he did. I never would have thought an organization like Sole Brothers would speak to my heart, but it has, so I am compelled and proud to share their work with you because there but for the grace of God go I.
Sole Brothers not only provides shoes to kids, but they provide gift cards for groceries, so they can have lunches and snacks. They help kids and their parents with kindness, and that is both powerful and important. These men are parents and coaches, and Sole Brothers is their passion. They have propelled kindness into action. These two lovely friends, a Jew and a Muslim, could teach a few things, to a few people. At a time of year when we often hear “‘Tis the season,” this is a reminder that kindness is always in season. Thank you Rich and Tra for what you do, and thanks to everyone who is showing kindness. We are all in this together, so be kind and remember to keep the faith.