Children Mending Hearts is a global arts exchange between at-risk children in America and children living in conflict zones that educates, empowers and encourages children and gives them a voice, inspiring them to a sense of empathy and desire for peace.
I thought news of our event was long over and had been busily planning our trip to Haiti and the workshop in Las Vegas with at-risk youth when I was sent this link three days ago by the NFL who had done a story on one of our kids.
Then an hour later I got an email telling me that the video had been picked up as the lead story on Yahoo and that we had over 17,000 hits. I was in utter shock to say the least. Little Ruben, who has been living in a shelter in Brooklyn, had one dream, and that was to go to football camp. With the help of dear friend Rich Eisen, we arranged for him to go to football camp this summer and had Chad Ochocinco (Ruben's idol) come to our event to surprise Ruben.
Watching this video and weeping once again gave me that positive re-enforcement that I so desperately needed. I think for those of us that work with children on a daily basis and have suffered the recent slings and arrows of the economic crisis especially, in the NGO arena, we sometimes feel that no matter how hard we work and no matter how much we give that somehow it's never enough.
I wake in the morning and lay my head on the pillow at night thinking about the kids we work with and end up constantly asking myself how I can do more. This beautiful story is just a reminder to me and to the rest of the world that to help one child at a time is okay. I'm happy to report that Ruben and his mom have moved into transitional housing. Children Mending Hearts has just provided them with a computer and tutoring for Ruben. He has been accepted into three charter schools and will be attending Deion Sanders football camp the second week of July.
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