Save the world

One small act at a time

“I asked the little boy selling lemonade on my block what he planned to do with all the money he was making,” said Brittany, Hudson Valley Parent’s editor. “He told me about his big plan to buy clothes for a little girl in his class whose house burned down.” The boy ended up raising over a hundred dollars.

This isn’t the only story I’ve heard about children helping others in need. Children are naturally inclined to help those in need. Helping others isn’t always a big production. Some times it can be as simple as helping mom with the dishes.

Simple ways to pay it forward!

Paying it forward

Several years ago, my friend, Ryan and I brought his son to Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery to participate in a fishing derby. We had been coming to this fishing event since we were young. One fishing derby tradition I hold close to my heart is when we all walk around and help the other children who are not as experienced with fishing derbies.

We usually end up helping parents with baiting, which can be quite a spectacle if you have never put a hook through a worm.

We help children get their newly acquired fish off their hooks. We pull apart tangled lines and fix broken reels. Whatever needs to be done, we do it. The event is usually half over by the time my pals and I sit down to cast our own lines. Next time you set out on a weekend adventure, try Ryan’s tactic and see how your children can help others.

Lead by example

Every time Matt and Ryan helped someone out, they would high-five each other. Ryan enjoys this routine because it helps his son learn the fundamentals of fishing while incorporating a lesson in camaraderie.

“I pay it forward by showing my son how to help other people and enjoy doing it. Matt lends a helping hand when someone needs it because of my example,” said Ryan.

Influence others

When Ryan and Matt make their debut at the fishing derby each year, they are greeted by hearty hellos from thankful families. Matt commits most of his time at the Lake to helping the new guys learn the ropes. Ryan and Matt could fish all day uninterrupted, but they still make the rounds to see how everyone else is doing. Now, when someone is stuck, it’s not just Ryan and Matt who swoop in. Everyone at the lake has started to pitch in.

The domino effect

If Ryan’s dad had not walked his son around the derby to help other children cast their rods, there would be a generation of fishermen less likely to give back the help they once received.When you are a beacon of goodwill, you inspire the same attitude in your children.


Anthony J. Geras is HV Parent’s editorial assistant. He lives in Montgomery with his fiance, Alyssa.