Friday, June 29, 2007

One Child

My brother and his wife have four terrific children. Their youngest child, Joseph, is a rising second-grader in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

There's something special about Joseph and you would know it if you met him. He's easy-going, contemplative, and sort of a quiet boy. I can watch him think. A twinkle in his eyes and a broad grin gives way to a sophisticated sense of humor that I love. He’s the one that talks the least but says the most! This special boy was a very good friend to my Mother.

Toothbrushes 003

He learned about the homeless and had an idea. Joseph asked for help at his school because his desire was to make sure that every child in the county had a toothbrush and toothpaste. He received school-wide help that resulted in taking donations of over 1,000 toothbrushes and toothpaste!

Joseph delivered his donations to a shelter in Fort Meade, Maryland and met with the Director to discuss plans for a project during the next school year. I giggle when I think of his endearing little self exhibiting child-like professionalism and sincerity. During the final school assembly this month, he addressed the students, faculty, and staff. At the end of his report he said, “So, if you want to help me with my next project for the homeless, see me in second grade!”

I am soooo proud of him.

Joseph: One child with a big heart.

He's making a difference.

God Bless you, Joseph.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, you can be proud of that one! I love stories like that.

possumlady said...

Kindness and empathy. Two things that are desperately needed in this world today, especially in our children. What a sweetie he is.

Cathy said...

So, a considerate heart is a family quality. This is just so sweet. Send Joseph a hug from a new fan.

cat59 said...

How wonderful. Sometimes we forget how wise and innocently confident young children can be. He sounds truely special.

Mary said...

All - what impresses me most is that he absorbs what he learns and really cares! In a world full of children who believe the world revolves around THEM and want catering to their every whim - we need more kids like him. He also has great parents - a very important influence that every child should own.

Dorothy said...

Way to go Joseph! You have a special spirit that shines right through in your Aunt Mary's photo. Your story makes my heart smile! Congratulations on being one person who cares enough to step forward and act on your convictions! Few people actually do. You rock! Sending cyber-hugs from your Aunt's on-line friend.

Larry said...

That's awesome!-think of what he'll be doing for the world by the time he gets older.

entoto said...

AMAZING! Go, Joseph. What a great way to channel and grow compassion.

KGMom said...

Aww what a sweetie. Kids like these sustain my faith in the future!

Annie in Austin said...

How wonderful that Joseph discovered early in life that he has the power to make something good happen. So often people of any age has the desire to help, but no idea of how to make a difference.

You should be proud of him, Mary!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

RuthieJ said...

Wow, Mary, that's so cool that even as a first grader, young Joseph is already making a difference in the world. Please keep us posted on future inspiring stories about this special little guy.

Susan Gets Native said...

Talk about paying it forward! Just what the world needs.
What a cutie!

Alyssa said...

What an exceptional little boy. His caring and kindness are so heart-warming and give hope to us older, and sometimes, disillusioned adults. His family and relatives have also played a part in fostering these wonderful traits within him. He is making a difference now, and will surely keep doing so throughout his life.

Great, uplifting post. Thank you.


LostRoses said...

What a cool kiddo! I'm amazed by the things the little ones think up to do nowadays. What a great foundation to build a life on!

Chrissie said...

Yes! Some positive PR for young people! I am sure there are many out there who do so much good but somehow we here more of the crime than the good deeds. You are right to be proud of him, the world needs to hear more of the young people who think of others and not just themselves. Congratulations to him and good luck with the next project.

Jayne said...

God Bless Joseph indeed! What a lovely idea.

Elaine Cougler Author said...

What a wonderful tribute to a special little boy! We need to hear these anecdotes about kids, to combat the bad comments heard so often.
Thanks for writing of Joseph.

thailandchani said...

Wow.. now that is awesome!

Just awesome!



Unknown said...

What an awesome kid! You should be proud of him. Rock on Joseph!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet little boy!

I love those pics of him surrounded by boxes and boxes of toothbrushes and toothpaste - he looks happy with himself.

How did he ever settle on getting donations of toothbrushes, rather than say, toys?

Kudos to Joseph!

Laura @ SomewhereinNJ

Anonymous said...

Your brother and his wife should be highly commended for instilling such wonderful qualities in their child. With the news telling us every day about all the poor examples of what future generations are doing it is so uplifting to hear about a child as giving and thoughtful as your nephew. I will meet my day with a huge cheesy grin just knowing that there is a little boy down the road spending his summer thinking about how he will enrich another's life!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Just great! Joseph has really a big heart! Send a kiss to him!

dmmgmfm said...

What a wonderful child and a fantastic story. And I agree with Cathy.


Naturegirl said...

Such a G-R-E-A-T little one!Our world is a better place because of Joseph!
Truly a S-P-E-C-I-A-L boy!hugs NG

NatureWoman said...

Joseph is a very special child! Good for him! And all of the people that he's helping.

Susie said...

No wonder you're so proud of Joseph! His loving and giving spirit are an example to all of us.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
A giving heart, a williness to do,
a voice, regardless of age, that says,"I care. Join with me."
I love Joseph too.
No hidden agenda, just a caring spirit.
He inspires me.
Thank you, Joseph.
Please let us know his next project!
I would would like to join in.

kris said...

Hello Everyone:

Thank you for the kind remarks. Joseph is my son and we are very proud of him. He does have a uniqueness to him and we love the fact that he shares he heart with so many people. Mary is right, he was her mother's best friend and a lot of his thinking patterns stem from her daily, mature conversations with him (she lived with us). We miss her so much, but get to see a little of her in him each day and for that we are thankful.

Joseph will be continuing his project in the fall. He doesn't know exactly what he wants to do yet, but will be visiting with the children of Sarah's House (homeless shelter) during the summer. We will keep you posted.

Thanks Mary for letting the world know that each one of us can make a difference no matter how small.

Also, someone had mentioned about how he decided on toothbrushes? A dental hygiene program at his school taught him the importance of keeping his teeth clean. On the same day, he say some homeless people and worried for days about them; wondering day and night if they had toothbrushes. Finally, he the quiet of his bedroom he wrote a letter to his principal at school asking for him to help with a toothbrush project for the homeless; the rest is now history.

Thanks again, the kind comments meant so much to Joseph. Thanks again to Mary as well.

Kris (Joseph's mom)

Anonymous said...

Very cool! Way to go buddy and something to be very proud of!

LauraHinNJ said...

Joseph's Mom,

That was me that asked about toothbrushes vs. toys. His donation shows a lot of insight into the problems homeless people face every day - insight that most of us don't have and won't even consider.

I learned through recent visits to shelters (for work) that toys are the most often and least needed items. Everyone gives toys because it feels good to think you're making some poor kid happy. In reality, what is most needed are diapers and personal care items that can't be purchased with Food Stamps. Anyway - Joseph was spot on!

I look forward to hearing about what he comes up with in the fall!

Unknown said...

What a precious boy! A parent knows they have succeeded when their child gives so lovingly to those less fortunate.