My small girl is in third grade. She has a little brother she adores; most of the time. They fight like most siblings do, but if you were to ask her what her about ‘rule #1’, she’ll look you firmly in the eye and say, ‘Keep Coopy safe’. One of these days, it won’t be ‘cool’ for her to call him ‘Coopy’, but for now, I can tell he loves that she has a special name for him. And? He loves her.
In their sweet and sheltered world keeping him safe means getting him an ice pack when he hits his head, reminding him to pack a snack for school, including him when her friends are around, putting an arm around him during the ‘scary part’ of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and offering the evil eye to anyone who dares to comment on his longer blond hair with anything but admiration.
She doesn’t have to sacrifice a portion of her dinner so her brother can eat. She doesn’t take care of him while I or my husband work two jobs to make sure there is food in our home. Hunger isn’t a problem they know. And for this, I am grateful. But I’m also deeply aware of food insecurity and how it effects so many children in our country.
I was reminded of this again tonight by something so simple: a song. Back in April, I was lucky enough to hear country music artists Little Big Town perform the song Here’s Hope live at the Academy of Country Music Awards. They performed the song during the Lifting Lives Moment – bringing awareness to the epidemic of Child Hunger right here in the United States. I spent time on the Red Carpet at the ACM’s asking artists about the power of hope and music and the beauty of LBT singing this song. I also interviewed Hunter Hayes, the artist who wrote the song about WHY this song resonates as it does.
One in five children are hungry.
I will say it again: 1 in 5 children are hungry.
Tonight, I stumbled across this video on YouTube. As I had HOPED they would, Little Big Town has recorded their version of the song. And it is magic. I sat with my small people tonight, crying (yes, I did) and listening to it over and over again.
In the second verse…. “There’s a small town girl in the third grade, makin’ sure that her sister gets enough… ” I looked first to my small girl and then to my small dude and my heart broke a little, for what we have, for what other children don’t and with gratitude that we can help.
For the better part of the past four years, I have worked with Con Agra Foods and their program Child Hunger Ends Here, and while I’m not in the midst of a campaign at the moment, I feel compelled to share this video with you…. I hope you can take a few minutes to get lost in its beauty, to absorb its message.
Maybe it will inspire you to donate a few dollars to your local food bank, to start a food drive at your children’s school, to fill backpacks for a local program, or simply to pass it on.
The inspiration behind ‘Here’s Hope’ is just that – hope that we can make a difference, even a little bit at a time.
Thank you for joining me. I’m grateful. And somewhere there is a 3rd grader who is as well.