“Who inspires you?” is such a powerful question. The word “inspire” instills a sense of movement and causes you to react and do something to become a better you.
The birth of my daughter Brittany gave me a little (okay, very little) time to think. Who would she believe her mother was? What would she think of me? What did I want her to think of me? I wondered how I could instill in her the knowledge that she could be anyone she wants to be- that she could love anyone she wants to love- and most importantly that because she would be given so much, so much would be expected of her in return. And I worried- how best could I make her aware of other people’s needs without causing her anxiety or fear?
Fast forward five years and Brittany has just announced that the art activity at her 6th birthday party in May is going to be Denim Messaging. Here’s a little background – Denim Messaging encourages tweens to take jeans that they wish to donate (new or gently used) and write inspiring words, encouraging phrases or draw empowering thoughts on the interior of the jeans that only the recipient will know about. The jeans are then donated to any non-profit, thrift store or family in need. This amazing concept was launched last year by a PR client of mine, AllyKatzz.com. Brittany actually feels very left out when “mommy’s” work projects exclude little girls, so she has decided to have all of her friends decorate kids’ jeans at the party and donate them to the INN, a local soup kitchen and emergency shelter located in Hempstead.
If you ask Brittany who inspires her, she’d proudly tell you that it’s the girls from One Is Greater Than None, a non-profit organization founded by eight 14 year old girls from Long Island’s south shore in 2007. Because I work with these girls, she’s been a witness to most of their fundraising efforts and successes since she was just two years old. I think that she got hooked when she met Ariel, one of the teen founders, mainly because she thinks Ariel has a magical quality and that she’s secretly really a mermaid. But in all seriousness, even my young daughter is able to see how these girls have gotten a mission out to the world that they believe in.
Even to a grown woman, the One Is Greater Than None girls truly are an inspiration. Personally, I am so proud of these girls for the amazing things they have accomplished and I continue to be inspired by by them every day. I love the fact that even though almost every other high school senior will be taking it easy after January, these girls, the One Is DEFINITELY Greater Than None girls, will be traveling across the tri-state area speaking at middle schools and high schools- potentially inspiring thousands of other students to “Do Something. Do Anything. Be Part of the Equation.”
My hope is that my daughter knows that her mom was a person who helped girls just to stand up for what they believe in and to get their messages out, whatever those messages would be. I would like to believe that Brittany will know, based on what she has seen during even her youngest years, that she can do anything that she wants to do and be anything she wants to be, but that there is a give and take, and that her giving back will inspire so many other young girls, strengthening the cycle of giving back over the course of time.
If you want to feel this inspiration and inspire your child, watch this video of the girls’ journey together:
About Kerry Gillick-Goldberg
Kerry is mom to Brittany (Miss B) and wife to Joe- as well as the owner of kgg enterprises, a boutique pr & marketing consulting firm based on Long Island. Her career path started in education, continued in the garment center, and now focuses mainly on all things tween/teen and non-profit.