Updated: Mar 25, 2020
This week I have found myself suddenly homeschooling my girls amid the COVID 19 outbreak. I'm not sure if I'm up to the task of teaching phonics and math. But then I remember all the other things I learned from my own mother. For example, kindness and courtesy are learned behaviors. I know that, not only because I also teach Cotillion classes to youth where we highlight these life skills, but also because I learned these behaviors from my mother. Growing up, I watched my mom put in countless hours with her local American Heart Guild chapter. After years of service, she worked her way up to Chairman of the ball. I watched her use her skills as an interior designer to throw a lavish gala, all while raising much-needed funds for the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women and this was a cause that she felt drawn to. She taught me that serving others also fills your own cup. While she was certainly making a difference, she was also developing lifelong friendships with the women she served alongside. She was teaching me the importance of giving and how it doesn’t always have to feel hard, but can be fun and enjoyable. She even helped start a youth division of her chapter, The Sweethearts, which allowed high school girls to put in service hours, receive cotillion-like training, and participate at the annual ball. People often ask me why I started my charity. And with a little down time due to coronavirus social distancing, I've had time to reflect on that. The task, though steep, always seemed plausible because I learned from the very best. My mom, in so many different ways, has been my ultimate inspiration. She taught me by example and I hope to do the same for my girls.