Every day parents across the South Shore work hard make our community a better place. This month's Parent with a Purpose is no exception. Melissa son CJ became sick at 6 weeks old and spent a long time at Children's Hospital Boston. It was then that she knew she wanted to give back to them. He is now a fun and funny first grader who helps her support this important institution. Here's her story ...
Thank you to our friends at Derby Street Shoppes for sponsoring this column each month. They generously provide our Parent with a Purpose with a gift card to stop for a minute and take care of themselves. Check out their unique outdoor shopping center and list of store and restaurants at www.thederbystreetshoppes.com.
How to you make a difference? What do you want to accomplish?
I try to make a difference for every child who comes into the hospital. We raise money to donate to help families who can not afford it. We also collect new unopened toys for kids who may be afraid for a procedure they need to have done or are spending the holiday in a hospital room instead of at their own home. My goal is to raise funds until every child is well.
What inspired/encouraged you to start Cruising for CJ? Is there one specific moment when you knew this was what you wanted to do?
I started Cruising for CJ when my son CJ was 6 weeks old. He became sick and if it wasn't for Children's Hospital Boston he wouldn't be here today. I knew this is what I wanted to do when I sat at his bedside and he had more tubes coming out of him than I had ever seen before. He is now 7 years old and we raise funds each year to give back to say thank you for saving his life.
How did your life before children influence the mom you are today? What part does your son play in your desire to make a difference?
I always include CJ in our fundraisers, and each event is family friendly. There is always things to keep the kids and adults busy. CJ has done care bags for kids who could use their own items because they didn't plan on spending time at the hospital. He will tell you all about the hospital and how they make him feel at home when he's there. That is what it's all about.
What lessons/values are you learning through this process? What lessons/values do you hope your kids are learning?
We have learned not to take life for granted. Live each day like it was your last and never give up hope.
What can we do to support Cruising with CJ?
You can help us by making a small donation to the hospital in someone species name or following our facebook page Cruising For CJ to learn about upcoming events.
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