How many of us can say that we feel truly connected to our communities in a meaningful way? Or more importantly, how many of us are actively making a difference where it really matters — right at home?
As one 14-year-old boy from Lapeer, Michigan has reminded his town, sometimes, even the smallest acts of generosity in our local communities can have the biggest impact.
It all started five years ago, when Grant Rasmussen went on a field trip with his 3rd-grade class to the local Pregnancy Resource Center. The visit stuck with him, and after learning about the organization’s goal to help moms and their babies, he realized he wanted to help, too. Now in 8th grade, Grant has been raising money to buy supplies for the Center for years — and his contributions have been pretty impressive.
Grant tells Babble:
“After my first visit to the Center, I was pretty sad thinking that some babies had to sit in dirty diapers because some people weren’t able to afford diapers. I also liked how the moms there got to earn Mom Bucks. The more they learned about keeping the babies safe and clean, the more diapers and things they could get for their babies.”
After learning from his mom Angie that the Pregnancy Resource Center was not government funded and relied solely on donations to stay stocked and running, he felt inspired to help as much as he could. To date, Grant has donated to the center six times, funding each donation by holding garage sales that have brought in anywhere from $300 to $900 dollars. His donations have included everything from car seats and clothes to basic baby supplies like lotion, diapers, and wipes.
I can’t imagine how thankful both the resource center and the parents who utilize it are for all of Grant’s hard work, but he says he couldn’t do it without the help of his family. Because the donations truly are a family-fueled effort: Grant’s mom collects coupons throughout the year to get the most out of the raised money, while his dad and big sister help set up and run the annual garage sales.
A proud Angie Rasmussen tells Babble that Grant “is a constant reminder for us to be aware and supportive of the people and needs in our community.”
By sharing his story, the teen hopes that his peers feel motivated to become a part of something bigger than themselves. He advises them “to realize that some people or organizations may need the money that you earn more than you do.” He also urges others to “do what you feel led to do because, in the end, it will most likely help someone in need.”
Pretty wise words for a 14-year-old!
I can’t help but be both amazed and inspired by this young man’s story. But above all, I hope that it reminds us to teach our own kids how the smallest act of kindness can create a ripple effect that spreads love and hope to those who truly need it most.
Keep up the good work, Grant!