Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Parent to Parent: Giving Back
It's the season of giving, a time when people go the extra mile to help others in need, and that's just what two Fort. Lauderdale brothers are doing. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Lynn Martinez shows us how their work is making a difference at a Broward shelter for abused and neglected children.
WSVN -- For the Simon brothers, the tradition of giving began last year with Sam's Bar Mitzvah project.
Sam Simon: "I raced 31 miles last year and I think it's worth, it was fun."
Sam raised moeny in a charity bike ride for Kids in Distress, a shelter for abused and neglected kids. This year it's 13-year-old Jonn's turn.
Jonn and Sam were inspired to raise money for the shelter after volunteering there and meeting some of the kids.
Sam Simon: "He told me that his father was in prison and that's why he was there because his mom and dad couldn't watch him or take care of him"
The sad stories made the brothers want to help.
Sam Simon:"I learned to appreciate things in a new way."
For the past seven years, Kids in Distress has raised money with the inlet challenge bicycle ride. This year, 11,000 riders raised more than $150,000 on the ride that went from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton inlet.
Serious riders could go even further to Boyton Beach or all the way to Palm Beach and back. Sam was the number one individual fundraiser last year with $58,000.
Jonn Simon: "I'm knocking on people's doors, I'm asking them to sponsor me and at my Bar Mitzvah. I gave out letters saying would you like to sponsor me and the amount."
This year, Jonn managed to raise $63,000, and like his brother Sam he was the top individual fundraiser for the event.
Jonn Simon: "I was very surprised because a lot of people gave that I didn't expect."
Michelle Simon: "I'm extremely proud of them all."
Mom Michelle says people are extra generous during the holiday season.
Michelle Simon: "Because it's a children's organization, a child's organization they feel like they want to give more because the children benefit. It's Christmas, Kawanzaa, Hanukah and now's the time if you're ever going to do it. It feels good this time of year."
And the boys feel good about giving their time to such a great cause. Youngest brother Mikey takes it all in. In two years it'll be time for his Bar Mitzvah.
Mikey Simon: "I hope in two years that I could try to actually bike ride and raise $10,000 and top Jonny."
And during the season of giving, he just might do it.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode
Kids in Distress