Teaching Kids to Give Back

 6 miles!! Completed.  Maren is sad because she just woke up from a 2 mile nap!

6 miles!! Completed.  Maren is sad because she just woke up from a 2 mile nap!

Today we successfully completed our 3rd SF AIDS Walk as a family.  It brings us such joy to know we are teaching our children to be a part of the community and care for others, while getting in a good dose of exercise and family togetherness.

It was a cold day in San Francisco never seeing the sun in Golden Gate Park where the temperatures didn’t break 60 degrees, but we had fun nonetheless.  This is also the first year we had Mina, our Australian Labradoodle, so we were so happy to have her along and even more happy to have her exhausted at the end of the day.

 Getting set to walk.

Getting set to walk.

Maisy ran (because she wanted to win!) pretty much the first mile and a half.  It was fun to see her so excited.

 Run, Maisy, Run!

Run, Maisy, Run!

We also got some perks at the end. We rode the Carousel in GG Park for free because we completed the AIDS Walk. We’d never done this, so we took a couple of whirls around.  The girls loved it!  We stayed to play in the amazing park there for a bit until we were too cold and headed home.


 Around and around we go!

Around and around we go!

We are so proud to support this event year after year and completely look forward to it annually. We are grateful to our sponsors again and again.  Together we raised over 2.6 million for HIV/AIDS services and research.  We and countless others thank you for the generosity.


 Thank you!!

Thank you!!

We try to incorporate giving back to our community in a variety of ways.  Here are the ways we do this:

1.  Walks to support causes.

2.  Support developmental research.  

Maisy and Maren have completed many studies at UC Berkeley’s Infant and Congnition Lab.

3.  Support medical research.

  • Maisy recently enrolled in her first vaccine study with Kaiser, Oakland. She got vaccinations she would have received anyway, but she may or may not have gotten a vaccine not yet licensed in the US. I used to work in childhood vaccines with Novartis, so this was really exciting to be a part of and interesting to be on the other side. I have so much gratitude for all the parents that enrolled in the vaccine studies I was working on seeing what they had to go through.
  • I will be participating in a longevity Cancer Prevention Study, sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help researchers learn more about cancer and risk factors.  Is there a similar study in your city?
  • I’ve also signed up to be a bone marrow donor with Be the Match. This hits home as I know a few people who have needed bone marrow donation, so I want to do all I can to support them and get them healthy.

4.  Donate used items.

I love ECAP (Emeryville Community Action Program).

They take everything!  You can drop items off and they give you a donation slip for tax purposes.  What I love most is that they GIVE items away to those in need.  Every time a birthday or Christmas is nearing, the kids and I go through all of our stuff and donate things we feel someone else could use that we don’t need. It’s so lovely to see the girls fill bags with items they think other boys and girls could use.

5.  Keep extras in your car.

Instead of giving money to folks in need (I hate giving money. I never know if it will be used the way it should be).  We keep granola bars and other food items in the car to give to those in need at freeway off-ramps.

I know there is way more we could be doing, but it’s a start and the girls are exposed to it all. It warms our hearts that they are learning to care for others and being mindful of the gifts they’ve been given in life.

How do you give back? I’d love to hear your fantastic ideas in the comments!!

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I'm a part-time work from home, full time stay at home mom to two daughters and an Australian Labradoodle puppy. We are enjoying our last year before big girl school, playing with friends, swapping childcare to get the job done and getting crafty when we can fit it in. We live together in a wonderful community that we are truly thankful for and proud to be a part of. It takes a village and this is ours.