Local sporting events are a cornerstone of Northwestern Ohio. We all love cheering on our children and their friends—and many of us hope for those full-ride scholarships if we're honest with ourselves! And of course there are many draws on our attention at the week's games; you have concession stand food, 50-50's drawings, and charity drop-offs— even entertainment can be overwhelming at times!
Well, as a local business The Basement Doctor has often participated with the West Ohio Food Bank to collect non-perishables and cash donations to help feed the downtrodden, at those very games we all enjoy. Some years ago we were asked why we would do this, other than the obvious exposure and free PR that comes with it. When we started this service, it was for the simple fact that our children will learn behaviors by our example. So, if our future generations were to understand generosity, it was on us to show them how!
But over the last few years, the dividends of this work have shown themselves in unexpected ways. And that's what brings us to Kids with Character!
Kid's with Character is our new way to recognize those kids who display the traits of character.
At our last basketball game, the Lima Cup, we were set up to collect food and donations like any other game. We bring along a prize wheel and some really "great" prizes—just to have fun. Usually we are quite popular for our Whirly-Pops, and so many children donate a dollar or two to get the candy. That night however, there was a different kid in the crowd.
We didn't catch his name, but he was about 8 years old. He didn't wear any telling clothing, so we couldn't even tell which school he went to. But what he did was truly remarkable. He came to our booth and looked at the generic sign that read "food bank drop-off." He took out his blue Velcro wallet and produced a dollar bill, which he plopped in our money can, and he started down the hall! We called out to him, "wait—you get to spin the wheel!" So he came back and gave it a spin, and like most of our younger contestants he was lucky to get the giant Whirly-Pop sucker! He thanked us with a smile and was on his way.
Later he came back with another dollar, evidence of the last Whirly-Pop fresh on his face! So, we let him play the game, but when he was done, we had to ask: "Why did you give your dollar the first time?" At first he didn't hear us, so we clarified a bit; we wanted to know what was his motivation. His reply was priceless and pure."Because if I was poor, I would want people to help."
We don't know this guy, but we sure are glad he's in our community! We've read "…out of the mouths of babes," but that night we saw the golden rule for ourselves.
So, if you have a child like that—one who will look out for others, who understands their civic responsibilities, then this blog was for you. We should recognize those around us that lift us up a bit, and the ones who taught them how!
We'll continue to write about these Kids with Character. We want to recognize their effort and their actions. Really, maybe it's this character that is the cornerstone of Northwest Ohio