Day Seven: Give Back Mission to Express Gratitude

Today is the seventh day of my mission to spread kindness and help others. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read: Join My Give Back Mission to Spread Kindness and Say Thank You.

This weekend I watched the documentary Bully, which highlights the problem of child-to-child bullying across the country. It is an excruciatingly painful movie to watch. I experienced so many emotions, from heartbreak for the children and families to frustration and anger toward the schools.

The children highlighted in this movie were tormented and abused by their peers in ways that simply astound. And so many times, no one could or would help them. The schools featured did not take the problem seriously and the parents did not always fully understand the extent of the abuse. For some parents, they did not realize what was happening until it was too late and they were burying their babies.

These innocent children were alone and had nowhere to turn. It was as if being a little different, a little small, a little socially awkward gave other children permission to abuse and torture.

I kept thinking, if only these children had a safe place. If only these children could find where they fit in. If only there was a place that understood and allowed them to be themselves without fear or ridicule, then maybe these children could be saved. Maybe then teen suicide wouldn’t be the third leading cause of death for teens. Perhaps the approximate 11 youth suicides a day could be stopped (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicides).

My mission today is to highlight one place that is taking this problem seriously. It is a safe place for children to go and express themselves through art. It is a place where you are accepted and embraced. Being different is okay there. It is a place that is trying to bring awareness to the issue of teen suicide and save lives.

havenThe Haven Youth Project, also known as Sent(a)mental Studios, is an organization that is especially important to me because it is named in honor of my friend’s daughter who tragically took her own life last year on Valentine’s Day at only 13-years-old.

The Haven Youth Project is a Denver/Boulder organization that is helping many youth reclaim their lives and find their own voice. Lead by Founder/Witness Dylan Scholinski, the Haven Youth Project is making a difference. And they need donations in order to offer their services to these children in need.

Their biggest fundraising campaign of the year ends in 14 days and they are a little more than halfway to their goal, but they need help. Please click here to donate to this cause. Even $5 or $10 can be of help to this program and these children.

My friend’s daughter Sydney (Haven) was born exactly one-week before my oldest son. Her mother and I went to high school together. We both had our babies young, but we both counted our children as the biggest blessings of our lives. She is an incredibly loving mother. What hit me the hardest was the realization that her loss could have just as easily been my loss or anyone’s. It is unfathomable to imagine, but it is a real fear. Suicide is not something we should talk about under hushed voices. It should be openly discussed and addressed. This is how we can save our children’s lives.

So, please donate if you can and please spread the word about this important issue.


Good Deed Idea of the Day

Today, my good deed idea is to leave a thank you note for the mail carrier and garbage collector. These are individuals who help us so much, but are often overlooked. I am going to attach a note to my mailbox and my trash can today. Will you join me? Will you make the day for these hard-working people who do their jobs, so we can live comfortably?




Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.