Giving is a sacrifice. It requires that we think with our hearts first and not our minds. Many times I have given my last to someone in need. But more important I give my FIRST to the people and things I love. The Bible says “where you treasure is, your heart will be also.” It’s one thing to proclaim what matters it is another, more powerful thing to prove it.
When I tell people I am raising money for my son to go to Ghana, I get strange looks from some, smiles from others but always the question “why are you going to Ghana.” The most accurate answer is “because my son wants to go.” But that answer doesn’t seem to satisfy anyone but he and I. So I end up going on a rant about a variety of things and people, still seemingly confused just look and smile.
I am raising my son to be confident, curious and independent. When I was a child there were so many things I wanted both tangible and intangible that I could never get because not many adults took my requests seriously. I’d say “mommy, can I…” And before I could finish my statement she’d ask me if I knew how much it cost. “Do you know how many groceries I could buy with that?!” It seemed as a child everything was always more important than what I wanted. Perhaps you grew up this way as well. You can become jaded that way. As an adult you go around just grateful for whatever you get and never wanting more. Furthermore, you grow up thinking money is an enormous obstacle. I want different for my son.
It’s important for me to honor my son’svoice. Listening to the little things builds a foundation and stronger relationship for us to communicate about the bigger things. So when my son said he wanted to visit Africa I didn’t shut him down. As a young black boy he needs as many opportunities as possible to express himself and demonstrate confidence. Rather, I asked more questions and this led to our own research of different countries. He liked the name Ghana and so we explored more. He then after a few weeks asked again if he could go and so I said yes.
I explained to my son that the process of doing anything is as follows: get the idea, make a plan, get together a team and then implement the plan. This strategy for achieving goals I learned as an adult. But it’s important for me to prepare my son early with the knowledge I gained late. I explained to him that mommy didn’t have all the money, but if we were patient, consistent, hard working and called on our village of family and friends to help us, we could do it. I need him to know that mommy is not an ATM. If he wants something, he has to work to get it. For me, this lesson translates into adulthood. As a single mother raising a young man, Devin could easily see my hard work and think “when I need something, mommy takes care of it.” I want Devin to be empowered to say ” when I want something, I will find a way to make it happen.” My son shouldn’t grow up thinking it’s okay to depend on me or any other woman for physical protection or financial security. In this way, I feel I am preparing him for his role as a protector and provider.
Devin liked the idea of fundraising! So I began researching the costs, we created a gofundme page and started planning out some fundraisers. We are so excited by all the support we have received this far and are looking forward to reaching our goal sooner than later.
Growing up Black in America presents an even greater desire for me to expose my son to our African heritage. And because he shows such a great interest in doing so, I want to pursue it fully so he can have a greater sense of self. One that I am still discovering.
I am raising money for my son to go to Ghana because I don’t just want to say I support him, I want to show him that he has a place in this world, that what he thinks matters and that he can accomplish anything he sets out to do.
If you agree with me we ask that you make a donation to our cause at www. Gofundme.com/DevinGoesToGhana Furthermore, if you are a parent or a role model to a young person I’d encourage you to find out what you kid wants and go after it.