Last Saturday I had the opportunity to be a very small part of an annual event that benefits Boulder City kids. The event was Puttin’ 4 the Kids, sponsored by Jack’s Place Sports Bar and Grill and the Dan Leach Memorial Fund.
While Jack Gaal and a group of enthusiastic volunteers annually sponsor a golf tournament to help local kids and families, they amped up their fundraising efforts into high gear when the Boys &Girls Club closed its doors in Boulder City a few years ago. The “Gaal Group” was concerned about the kids who would be displaced by this closing. Where would they go before and after school? The Safekey program was an answer.
Thanks to the efforts of the Gaal Group, last year approximately 50 families with kids needing a little help from their friends were able to attend Boulder City’s Safekey program, according to Gaal.
So on Saturday, about 119 folks played golf, enjoyed being with friends, had a buffet lunch and even won prizes donated by local businesses and helped kids and families they don’t know personally. To me, that’s the fantastic part: They didn’t even know the kids and families they were helping in ways no one will ever know.
Puttin’ 4 the Kids showed that helping others doesn’t have to be painful. You don’t have to give until it hurts. Enjoyment and giving work well together.
Consider this. One of the kids helped by this golf tournament becomes a doctor because she was provided with a safe place after school and wasn’t running in the streets. That Safekey kid in the future saves the life of one of the golfers who played in the tournament. Far-fetched? I don’t think so. Stranger things happen all the time.
I bet most of the golfers in last Saturday’s tournament weren’t even thinking about the impact they could have on the kids and families in Boulder City. They should, though. Individual acts of giving turn into a tremendous amount of support for countless numbers of people in the community.
Think about what you could do with the money saved by buying one Jet Ski instead of two, or spending a little bit less on that kitchen remodel, or buying the $50 purse instead of the one for $150, or walking a few places instead of driving and donating the gas money you saved to a Boulder City charity. You are still getting what you want and helping so many others at the same time.
While I don’t know anyone with millions of dollars in the bank, and I can’t say how much they share with others, I can’t help but feel that with that much money, they might be able to share a little something with those who have little.
I find it difficult to understand why someone needs several vacation homes, when one or two might suffice. How many vehicles does a person need? How big does a house have to be to accommodate one family? Do dinner parties have to cost thousands of dollars? Do 32 pairs of shoes and 23 purses bring happiness?
The closest I’ve ever come to knowing a rich person was a guy I knew in graduate school back in the 1970s. He told me he spent in excess of $5,000 one night for a dinner for four at a Chicago restaurant. I didn’t notice that he was happier than usual the day after the sumptuous feast. The way I look at it, he could have had a really good time for $1,000 and used the other $4,000 to buy school supplies and shoes for several hundred kids in an orphanage, but that’s just the way I look at what money can do.
Saturday’s event simply reinforced my belief that giving doesn’t have to hurt and donating to a worthy cause that helps the entire community can benefit the donor and the recipient. If giving just a fraction of what we have can bring happiness all around, what prevents so many from being generous?
That, my friends, is a question that can only be answered by those who have never shared the hug of a child who just received a new pair of shoes, or the handshake of a man to whom you served a meal or the tears you shared with a family you helped move into an apartment for the first time in six months. I’ll take any of those feelings over a $400 pair of shoes any time.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-347-9924.