In this post, I talk about a different Alice. A woman who, despite being on welfare, did everything she could to ensure her children could maintain their dignity while navigating the über-judgemental worlds of primary and secondary school.
Read on to learn more about Alice’s Kids and the fantastic opportunity I have to extend its reach.
What You Already Know About Alice’s Kids
We all know someone like this. Maybe it was you. Some kid in your neighborhood, school, or house of worship who was different. You heard the stories. The kid’s family lived in a house with no heat, minimal food and perhaps an unhealthy family situation.
You weren’t really sure if the stories were true but they were fortified by the circumstantial evidence. The kid wore the same outfit every day with labels that were “so, ten years ago.” He or she paid for school lunch with special tickets. And extracurricular activities weren’t an option because the equipment and fees made them unaffordable.
You probably ignored that kid. You may have been cruel. You may have even felt pity which was the last thing that kid wanted from you.
All that kid wanted was to be a peer. To be like you. To have clothes that fit. To be able to play on the basketball team. To have every opportunity to learn and thrive.
Alice’s Kids Exists for That Kid
Alice’s Kids is for the kid who doesn’t want your charity. He or she wants dignity. Dignity is a rare commodity for someone who has holes in his sneakers, can’t hang out with the gang because she doesn’t own a bike, or worse, can’t keep up in class without eyeglasses because they’re too expensive.
With a simple email from responsible parties in the kids support system (e.g., school, local government, shelters), Alice’s Kids responds with an anonymous donation to solve these seemingly small problems. They may seem small to you. To the recipient, that contribution makes all the difference.
My Role With Alice’s Kids
Alice’s Kids started by helping children in Fairfax County, VA. Fairfax County is one of the largest school systems in the country that you never heard of.
Alice’s Kids is now extending its reach into other jurisdictions including where I live, the City of Alexandria, also in Virginia. Alexandria Public Schools has about 15,000 students and more than half of them receive free or subsidized meals.
I am proud to serve as the agent for Alice’s Kids in Alexandria. In this role, I raise the profile of Alice’s Kids with the people most in tune with children in need. This includes social workers in the school system as well as in the city’s social services network.
I began this work today by connecting one of our school board members with the founder of Alice’s Kids (and one of Alice’s literal kids), Ron Fitzsimmons. We rolled out our plan for outreach over the course of the next few months.
This work is totally in line with my personal efforts to be happy, be healthy and oh yeah, save the world! Making the difference in kids lives one small contribution at-a-time has a butterfly effect of positivity. In fact, this study by the Harvard Business Review found that simply by reading information like this, you’re more likely to be happier and healthier yourself.
Alice’s Kids, helping to save the world for that kid you used to know and helping to save the world for you too.
You can learn more about Alice’s Kids at their website, www.aliceskids.org, their Facebook page and on Twitter. I also hope you consider Alice’s Kids to be a worthy cause and encourage your donations.