How I Ruined My Children's Summer Vacation

Summer is happy time, fun time, bubbles and sprinkler time. In my house, it's also Read About Starving Children In Somalia time.

One bright and sunny morning, I had been reading a newspaper article about Somalia and was absolutely shattered by the accompanying photo of a two-year-old boy. He was weeping and writhing on the ground, simply finished with being hungry. He had been standing up, in a food line with his mother, until he couldn't take it anymore.

I carried it to the table where my children were reading over breakfast and said, "I'm going to ruin your day."

I told them about Somalia's problems and showed them the picture. We talked about how important it is to know that these terrible situations exist in the world, and to figure out what we can do about them.

A short time later I noticed Theo kneeling on the floor and sort of dangling over the seat of his chair. I checked that he wasn't having a diabetic reaction, then let him be. Only later would I make the connection that the discussion had really devastated him, when he came to me and said, "Mom, I want to donate my prize money to Kids' Food Basket."

You may recall that Theo won a writing contest for his essay on living with diabetes. For this, he was expecting a $25 cash prize, a substantial amount of money for an eight-year-old.

And now he wanted to give it away.

Kids' Food Basket is a one-of-a-kind local nonprofit that provides take-home meals for children who otherwise would not have supper. During the school year, nearly 5,000 sack suppers are distributed at the end of each and every school day. Today their fiscal year ends; they've given out over 753,000 suppers to kids since last July.

We know this because the prize money came in, we bought some juice boxes, snack crackers and baggies, and today, we delivered them to Kids' Food Basket. They gave us a tour and showed us how this important organization runs.

And they weighed Theo's donation: 37 pounds of food. That's my boy. When I ruined his day, he was sure to brighten someone else's.


  1. that's so beautiful. i love that he knew of a worthy cause to donate to without having to look into it. well done all. :)

  2. I never thought of it that way. Thanks for the pat on the back!

  3. what a great kid. I think raising non-toxic people is the HARDEST JOB ON THE PLANET and you - my dear - are doing an amazing job.


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