Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fighting for Kids

This past weekend, the Hubs and I had an amazing opportunity to go to the Love Worth Fighting For marriage conference. As referenced in a post from last week and yesterday, it was hosted by Kirk Cameron (of Growing Pains and Fireproof fame).

Which reminds me that I have never told you about my awkward day with Alan Thicke or my terrible encounter with the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls whose name eludes my too-lazy-for-Google-mind right now. 

Anyway, Kirk Cameron was there with Warren Barfield. I had not really ever heard of Warren Barfield myself - although I have apparently heard his music since he sings the main song in the movie Fireproof. What I learned about Warren is he is a VERY funny dude. Seriously, funny. And he can sing. And he is among the very small percentage of people in the world (that include the Hubs and I) that know who Bill Withers is and what he sings. (I am not giving you links today. I told you I am too lazy to Google stuff for you today).

Which reminds me of another story about myself, Jeopardy, and a joke about the useless trivia that is stacked, sorted, and filed in my brain. I'm not bragging, but to my friends, I was like the Google of the 90's, the Wikipedia of the Grunge movement, the Ask Jeeves of the X-Generation. At least in my personal circle. And the bar I worked in...

This Warren dude, was very funny, which I am sure I have already mentioned. And he started telling us about the children that he sponsors (and that he gave up some cable features and - gasp! - Applebee's) to be able to sponsor them. But something else struck a chord with me.

He was talking about a little boy that was standing next to him at a watering hole in Africa, waiting for someone to fight through the crowds of people to get him a 5 gallon bucket of water. And after that child of 7 or 8 got his bucket filled, he walked two hours back to his village with it.

And I thought, My toilet takes more than 5 gallons too FLUSH... which I know because that one night when the water pump on the well broke, I had to send the Hubs to his job with a cooler to fill with water so that we could flush the toilet because 4 year olds don't really understand the concept of toilets not flushing in America and so she didn't tell me that she was gonna do what she did and I didn't really have the nerve to leave that in there all night long. So he drove the 5 miles to his job and filled the cooler up and drove back and all of that took less time to get more water than what that kid got after walking for 2 hours in AFRICA for goodness sake.

Which got me to thinking, my kid loves to shower. Sometimes, she will take advantage of her ability to shower with both of her parents and will end up with two showers in less than 12 hours just because she loves to shower so much and who is gonna tell a kid that they are too clean?

What if we lived somewhere where she could never bathe? What if no one was willing to fight for my kid to have water? What if I didn't have the means to fight for her? Who would do it then?

And the answer is simple and hard at all at once. It is up to us, the parents of kids that have SO much, to help out those kids that have SO little. Warren Barfield works with an organization called Food for the Hungry (that's the only link I am giving you - see how that works?). For 32 dollars a month you can sponsor a child like that little kid from the well. The cool thing about Food for the Hungry is that you can go to the country that your child lives in and meet them. You can exchange mail, gifts, pictures, and love with a real child that needs your help desperately.

I know that you are thinking that the economy is awful and this is just not the time and whatever. I know you are thinking it because it was what I was thinking too. Here's the thing - $32 a month to us is what? An item from the value menu every day for a month? A soda every afternoon after lunch? A trip to the movies once a month for a family of 4?

To us, it is so very little - for these kids it's the difference between living and dying. It is time that we quit pointing the finger at everyone else, and show children around the world that they are worth fighting for, that they are worth what we throw away everyday, that they mean something in this world, and that they deserve better.

Because I would want someone to do that for my child, because I want someone to do that for your children, because the children are the innocent victims here, and it's our job.

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