I’ve never been open enough to share this, but I have an extremely difficult time volunteering. I have a tender heart and sometimes the negative circumstances surrounding those I help by volunteering weigh heavier on me than the good that comes from my time spent volunteering. Always have. When I was a child, I would protest opening my own gifts on Christmas and opt to cry for the millions of children across the globe without presents instead. When my mom would take me to feed the homeless, I would not be able to eat for days. Seeing a full dinner plate in front of me represented gluttony and greed.
As an adult, I spent some time volunteering at the Prison Law Project and as a result I cannot have a conversation about our correctional facilities without bursting into tears. I try to participate in Black Lives Matter movements, but the discussions get too personal and my heart breaks for my father who picked cotton- in the 1960’s- in Mississippi and my mother who, for a while, was the only black child at her Jr. High School. I begin to feel like, whatever I do, it’s probably not enough. I know what they went through and it makes me want to apologize for how my generation is screwing up. I want to apologize for not fighting for my beliefs they way my mom did when she boycotted McDonalds for 25 years because they would not serve her as a little black child.
My wonderful friend Nycole runs the Precious Dreams Foundation which provides foster children with comfort items. She asks me to participate in her comfort drops at least once a month, but it hurts to even smile after meeting 15 parentless children who don’t feel loved.
I’m extremely passionate, naturally I guess that means sometimes my empathy levels are through the roof. I’m not sure why, but giving back, depletes me. Nothing I can do ever seems like it could be enough.
This year, I spent some real time digesting how I could have an impact on social issues that I care about without beating myself up in the process because that is not healthy either. I realized I could support organizations I trust to do the work in other ways. Not getting in on the ground level does NOT mean you are not helping, despite what we’ve been taught.
After coming to terms with my reality, I’ve decided to support a very worthy cause in my own way. Amber Sabathia is not only the founder of PitCCh In and wife of Yankees Superstar CC Sabathia but she is also one of my friends. Day after day I watch her tirelessly create, implement, and participate in programs for our inner city youth as if they were her own children.
Amber has said “CC and I are both from the inner city,” Amber said. “Growing up, we felt there was that one special person who made a positive influence in our lives. We hope that we can be that one positive person in other people’s lives. We were given a gift and an opportunity to give back and to try to touch someone’s life and to make a difference. That’s why we started the PitCCh In Foundation.”
Founded in 2008, The PitCCh In Foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives of inner city youth. Since inception, the foundation developed three Signature Programs and supported ongoing special initiatives to fulfill PIF’s mission to enrich the lives of youth from the inner city. The goal of these programs is to help teens raise their self-esteem through educational and athletic activities. From the beginning, CC and Amber were motivated by not only the idea of giving back, but by developing a long term platform with PIF to provide young people with the belief in their abilities to make their dreams become a reality. They understand all too well the challenges of being in an environment that can break one’s spirit and motivation, as CC and Amber both grew up in the inner city.
At the beginning of the summer I committed to join PitCChin Foundation’s Bronx 10 Mile Run team. I wanted to test my body, dedication, and ability to help raise $20,000.00 with my team to support PitCCh In’s work. It sounds a bit selfish but I hoped that this route would give me the satisfaction I have chased for so many years.
However, less than a month later. I got into a car accident that sat me all the way down. In fact it laid me down completely for 3 weeks, then slowed me down for another 3. On July 15th, the doctors told me it would be 6-8 weeks until I could comfortably walk again.
Amber reached out to check on me after the accident and gave me an easy out. “Girl, OMG no one is expecting you to participate anymore.” It was at that moment I realized I HAD to run. I knew that for the first time, I could give more of me, to produce more for the children. I was finally going to be able to give my mind, body, and soul to a cause. I could dedicate more than a day or 2 to volunteering, I could make the children my motivation to accomplish something great.
Here we are, less than 24 hours away from the race and I’m nervous but the kids are at the top of my mind. For them, I will complete it. I promise to do my part, but I also need YOUR support to reach the goal of $20,000 our team has set for this race.
YOU TOO can help! Click the here to support! With so many devastating disasters going on lately I’m not asking for a large donation, please give to those causes that need the most. I’m asking for a smaller donation to help us continue to make an impact on children’s lives in California, New York & New Jersey! $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, whatever you can. I’ll keep each of you who donate in mind and lean on your support every time I want to slow down. 🙂
Thank you all in advance for your support!!!! #GoTeam52