I never really filled ya in on why I'm doing all this in the first place, right? Well, here is my story and I'm sticking to it!...
Once upon a time, I was dependent on my parents, naturally, from infant age up until I graduated from college and decided it was time to cut the umbilical cord. During this time, my parents served as amazing role models in my life and did the best they could with what they had.
My mother born and raised in Sicily and my father from Portugal (hence why I call my rents "F.O.B.'s" - Fresh Off the Boat. It's not offensive, it's a term of endearment). My father will boast (rightfully so) how he left home at 14, was drafted into the Portuguese Army at 18, spent time in Angola, Africa fighting in the war, always held a job, worked hard, earned an honest living and owned/ran a restaurant business for 22 years...all with out even a High School level education. My mother, although didn't have it quite as rough, had her own journey. She came to the United States at 14, had to learn the English language, faced discrimination in her high school years (kids are mean anyways, but some kids were real jerks to my mom and called her all kinds of mean names - all because her nose was bigger than theirs - I personally think they were jealous!). My mom obviously got over it though - built a career for herself, went back to school for her AA when she was in her 50's and has worked for the same company for over 35 years! Both my parents worked hard and fought relentlessly to provide me, my brother and sister with a roof over our heads, food on the table and opportunity for higher education (something they personally didn't have quite so readily available).
I'm not too proud to admit that I would NEVER in a million years be where I am today, had I not been blessed with 2 loving parents to provide me with all the basic necessities I needed to launch me in the right direction. Let's be clear about something, times were NOT easy!!! My parents were ALWAYS stressed; they had to support 3 kids and a business and there were times where the food on the table was no-frills hot dogs and mac-n-cheese because times were tough (as a kid though, it was like the greatest thing ever - we loved it when Mommy and Daddy were poor!).
As I start to work on this whole grown-up thing and dream of raising my own family some day, I really see what kind of time, energy, commitment and $$$$ it really takes to do it right. I also see a lot of unfortunate situations where other children in this world just aren't being offered the same "luxuries" I had as a child, like a safe house to come home to, protective loving parents, food on the table (even if it was kinda ghetto at times), opportunities for socialization, and most importantly the valuable lesson I learned of "how to go fish, rather then just being provided with the fish" - No pun intended...well, ok, maybe just a little bit! :-/
And that is why I decided to support MBHP (www.mbhp.org), they offer tons of different programs to those in need, to help them feel empowered to become self-sufficient and self-reliant. MBHP is helping afford individuals opportunities their environements wouldn't otherwise provide. If all the running and fundraising I'm doing can help launch one young child's life in the right direction - then I can sleep pretty sound at night. That's all I can ask for - help me get a good nights rest!!!
Please help me reach my fundraising goal of $5k - I swear it's going towards a great cause!
Donate now - www.crowdrise.com/MariaDias
Thanks for reading this awesome blog - I know, you feel all sorts of warm and fuzzy! :-)