THE BLOG

Moments That Make Struggles Seem Meaningless

06/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

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.

Children Mending Hearts' big Peace Please gala is a mere week away on April 16th. Our team is pulling 17-hour days in order to prepare for the big night. As excited I am to meet with supporters and deliver our message, I am most looking forward to seeing Mr. Ruben St. Hilaire Jr.'s reaction when he finds out what Children Mending Hearts has in store for him.

Ruben is nine years old, and I had the pleasure of working with Ruben at our New York workshop back in November. We were able to work with over 430 homeless children and partner them with 200 volunteers. I was especially touched by little Ruben's story. Ruben has been living in a shelter in Brooklyn with his mom. He gets straight A's in school and dreams of one day becoming a football player and President of the United States. Additionally, I heard that Ruben's idol was Chad Ochocinco. I wrote to Ruben at Christmas and sent him a signed jersey from Chad. I also told him that if he kept his grades up, Children Mending Hearts would send him to football camp. He has.

Shortly after the earthquake in Haiti, I learned that both of Ruben's grandparents were killed in the quake. I then decided that Children Mending Hearts would fly him out for our event next week. I called my dear pal and hero, Rich Eisen, from the NFL Network. Ruben has no idea but Deion Sanders is sending Ruben to football camp; and Ruben's idol, Chad Ochocinco, has an even bigger surprise for little Ruben.

It's moments like these that make all the struggles seem meaningless. Check out our online auction.