I was recently invited to speak at St. Robert elementary school here in the Milwaukee area. They had heard about Love Drop through our local paper, and they had been following along with the Rewolinski story in their classrooms, watching the videos online and reading the blog posts as they went up. I planned to speak to them about making a difference one person at a time, and the power that we all have to change the world.
I was a bit nervous, because I’d never spoken to kids before, and the whole school would be in attendance – I think 300+ kids from 1st through 8th grade. Then again, I’m nervous every time I speak, so I guess that’s not saying much. :)
But when the kids filed in, all the nerves melted away and I was totally relaxed . . . they looked so happy, and all the chatter made me realize that this was a special, fun assembly for them, and I had the honor of speaking to them. We had a great talk about the value of servant leadership, and how absolutely everyone can make a big difference in people’s lives. I think it went so well because these kids were young and open-minded – you could tell that they believed in the power of such a small idea, whereas most adults have been conditioned to pass over it.
At the end of the talk, the kids presented me with a gift for the Rewolinski’s: 20 decorated, heart-shaped boxes filled with change, bills, and letters written to the family. The kids of St. Robert had been saving up to help Love Drop get the boys their service dog the whole time they’d been watching the videos. Along the way they were pouring their little hearts into messages of hope and love for our family this month.
When all was said and done, before everyone left the gym, they sang a song for me. The entire gym full of kids singing “Go Make a Difference.” They’d been practicing it specifically for that day – I was so touched. Additionally, all the kindergarten kids went home with “Change the World” written on their palms. I was totally blown away, guys. It was hands-down the best speaking engagement I’ve ever done. I absolutely loved it, and I can’t thank Holly, Lauren and St. Robert enough for letting me come in and have that conversation.
Oh, and one more thing – they raised almost $1,000 to contribute to 4 Paws to provide the service dog for our family. Wow.
Thank you all so very, very much. All you young people from St. Robert, I want you to know that you made a huge difference this month, not only for the Rewolinski’s, but for me. You changed my life, and for that I will be forever grateful.
(We’ll be presenting these gifts above to them this Saturday. Can’t wait!)