The majority of us go through life lending a helping hand wherever we can, not really planning to try to save the world in any huge way. Most of us don’t have the ability to make a huge difference in the lives of great numbers of people at any one time but in general we do attempt to make a difference in whatever small way we can. Whether that be by volunteering at a hospital, helping the homeless, reading in a classroom on a regular basis, or simply raising our own children to the best of our capabalitiies, we all hopefully make a difference in at least one other persons life during our lifetime.
Although not everyone has the time to volunteer or the ability to
provide their services somewhere, even a smile as we pass by a stranger
can brighten someone elses day, a kind word to a child or a moment taken
to listen to a friend’s problems can change their outlook and make a
problem that seemed insurmountable suddenly manageable.
When I began teaching primary school I believed my way of helping
society was through increasing literacy skills in our youngest
generation of readers. However as the years progressed I hoped to
achieve this through writing children’s books and spreading a love of
reading with fun and laughter instead.
Imagine my surprise when just last week I discovereed I was also
lending a helping hand in a completely different way with my books than I
ever expected or planned.
I always enjoy spreading a helping hand by encouraging home reading
through my facebook group “Raising Awesome Readers” as well as giving
away many of my children’s books to people in need. Earlier in the year I
gave a copy of each of my books to a fellow who lives a somewhat
difficult family life. He happens to be a “fly in/fly out” dad to three
kids, one of which is severly Autistic and another with Aspergers
Syndrome. You can imagine the difficulty and frustration not only for
him livng away from his family three weeks at a time as well as his wife
trying to manage while he is away. So I gave him copies of Gingerbread
Aliens, Aliens Shenanigans and Emma the Eager Emu to take home on his
R&R to read with the kids. He was so grateful to be given a simple
opportunity to read aloud and share a few precious moments with his
I hadn’t heard anything from him, nor did I expect to, until I ran
into him just last week. I was delighted to learn that not only did his
family enjoy all the books very much but his wife, who is a
psychologist, found the stories were so good for her children she began
taking the books to work.
Her clients are mostly children of parents going through break ups
mainly from the rigors of the fly in/fly out life style. She is using my
books on a regular basis with the children as they find the characters
real and relatable. My stories are spreading a helping hand to help
chidren overcome anxieties, fear, tension, sibling rivalry. lack of
self-confidence and helping them to learn to face conseequences for
their actions all in an entertaining and light-hearted manner. The use
of the books have become so successful, she is now lending them to her
It is not only nice to know that in my own small way I am making an
imapct in childrens lives different to that which I had ever
anticipated. It is also rather overwhelming to know that children that
need love and understanding are gaining so much more than just a simple
smile from reading the pages of my children’s books.
What are you doing in your small way to spread a helping hand in your community?