Here's how I handled my own feelings of helplessness over Haiti with my youngest of three and her pal.
Lisa Sharkey: Casey Gleicher, 10, and Taylor Woods, 9, both fourth graders at the Nightingale Bamford School in Manhattan, decided to spend their Martin Luther King Day playdate doing something for Haiti. Rather than hanging out listening to music or watching television, these two young women thought they would appeal to New Yorkers to help them raise money to help the thousands who need a hand.
So the girls baked 42 brownies, filled up a huge thermos with hot chocolate, and made a sign. After a few hours outside on an Upper West Side sidewalk, chanting "Help us raise money for Haiti -- hot chocolate and brownies!," the pair collected $186.03 to donate to the cause.
There is a collection box in the lobby of their school earmarked for Partners in Health, a health care organization that has been operating in Haiti for more than 20 years. That's where their money will go.
The girls were overjoyed at the responses from people, most of whom were ready to gobble up their home-baked goods, but many of whom simply handed them money because it was all for a good cause.
It was so much more than a playdate, and we are hoping the movement catches on! Why not spend that time with your children in an age-appropriate way, figuring out how you can raise money to help those who need it most at this critical time? You'll teach some life lessons in the process.
|Lisa Sharkey is Senior Vice President and Director of Creative Development for HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide. Sharkey also served as Senior Producer for ABC's Good Morning America. Lisa and her husband, architect Paul Gleicher, completed one of the country's first total Eco Houses, a "green" brownstone in Manhattan where they reside with their three children. They are the authors of Dreaming Green: Eco-Fabulous Homes Designed to Inspire and have a web site DreamingGreenBook.com|