Strange yet wonderful coincidences are happening to me these days.
Just days before Christmas I was in San Francisco for a couple of morning meetings. It was a sunny, crisp December day and the holidays were in the air as shoppers scurried up and down the streets carrying bright, colorful bags stuffed with presents. In the distance, Salvation Army bells rang.
I was running late to a lunch. My meetings had run over and I had to move it across town to meet my friend at Hogg Island restaurant. As I crossed the Embarcadero heading towards San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building, where Hogg Island has a beautiful space facing the bay by the way, I was approached by someone promoting something on the street. She had a warm, wonderful smile.
The corners of the streets of downtown San Francisco are littered with people promoting special causes or organizations such as The Nature Conservancy or Planned Parenthood. It’s not easy to walk down Market Street and not be approached multiple times with people trying to get you to donate to their cause. Today was no different. Yet, there she was with a remarkably big grin wearing an orange bib with the word “children” on it. Well, I brake for children. So I stopped.
It turns out that Jenna, my smiling new amiga, was representing Save the Children, an organization whose charter is to give children around the world a chance. They believe that every child deserves a future and their mission is to give every child around the world a healthy start in life. Jenna had me at hello.
I hate seeing children in need. It rips my heart out. Hearing what this organization does spoke to me. I knew I was running late but I was compelled to learn more. Before I knew it, I had signed up to “save” a child. I am now the sponsor of Tamim, a one year old Bangladeshi boy. Hopefully my annual contribution will help give him a chance at a better life.
As rewarding as that felt, it wasn’t the wonderful part. As Jenna went through the registration process with me we started chatting about things. I told her that I was an adoptee who was on a mission to help other adoptees. I mentioned to her that I had been asked to help volunteers understand what adoptees and foster children go through. Suddenly Jenna looked at me right in the eye and explained that she was a product of Boston’s foster system. She then said she wanted to send the elevator back down to help lift foster children up. Jenna added that she had been wondering for weeks about what she could do, but was coming up empty…until she met me. I was the catalyst she needed!
Through the work I am doing on my own or through My Hoodie Project, we have a platform where Jenna will get involved to help those who are lost, disenfranchised or feeling left behind. We are going to work together to help save children.
And this is Tamim.