All day long, our board members will be sharing stories about why they chose to give of their time to the Day Dreams Foundation. We’ll update this post throughout the day with more stories! Please consider donating to the Day Dreams Foundation today. Click HERE to make a one-time, weekly or monthly contribution.
After returning from my internship at Walt Disney World, I was going through a lot of withdrawals. The biggest one being I missed making kids dreams come true. I missed seeing those bright smiles when I got to give a child a little extra pixie dust. I missed being a fairygod mother to a sweet little prince or princess. That’s when the Day Dreams Foundation came along.
The first time I handed out a scholarship to a child, I knew the Day Dreams Foundation gave me the chance to spread magic again. Amahdjhe was so excited when I told him he was going to play for Columbia Orange Basketball. His mother explained to me that she heard about the Day Dreams Foundation from some of Amahdjhe’s teammates and thought it was too good to be true but applied for the scholarship anyways. She also told me how Amahdjhe and his friends always talk about how they are going to go pro one day. This short conversation is what made me realize that Columbia, MO can also be the place where dreams come true.
This Giving Tuesday I encourage you all to donate to the Day Dreams Foundation because you would not just be donating your money but giving an opportunity to make a child’s dreams come true! #donate4dreams
While the story of how I came to be involved with the Day Dreams Foundation might be anti-climatic, I think it’s one that paints a very accurate picture of the organization and what it’s about. I moved to Columbia in February. Not long after the move I met several of the current Day Dreams board members, and was eventually asked to join. I can’t say enough about the board members. These individuals lead by example in the way their lives reflect their passion: helping others in the most humble and selfless of ways. So if for no other reason, I knew that an opportunity to be part of an organization run by people like this was one I would be silly to pass up. Of course Day Dream’s mission of making it possible for all children to participate in extra-curricular activities is one I can easily stand behind. A person doesn’t have to look far to see the benefits children reap when acting in a play, kicking a ball, displaying their artwork, learning how to be part of a team…donating to the Day Dreams Foundation helps ensure children can pursue these passions. Help us help these kids and#donate4dreams!
I started playing golf when I was 8 years old. No one in my family played, but I watched Tiger Woods win the 1997 Masters and was hooked. I convinced my mom to sign me up for junior lessons through a local community college. I remember the night before my first lesson we went to buy my first set of clubs — there was only one junior set available at the store back then. I took the clubs out of the box and slept with them in my bed that night. I still have the clubs in my garage — my Little Brother Ja’shaun plays with them now.
My parents were nothing but supportive of my dream to become a pro golfer. Junior golf is definitely not one of the cheaper endeavors I could have pursued. There were clubs, shoes, golf balls, lessons, junior leagues, out of town tournaments, driving range passes, greens fees, and much more. I started Day Dreams because I wanted to give every kid that chance. The chance to pursue a dream. Money should never stand in the way of a child and his or her dream. Obviously, I didn’t become a pro golfer. However, I’m confident that the people I met chasing that little white ball around a golf course and the life lessons I learned around the along the way were pivotal to me becoming the man I am today. Thank you to my mom and dad for giving me the chance to dream — a dream that has manifest itself into the Day Dreams Foundation. I hope I never wake up.”
I first found out about Day Dreams Foundation after Ellen asked me if I could include scholarship applications in the resources I give to families at work. After hearing about this wonderful organization I was thrilled when Ellen asked if I was interested in joining the board. Upon leaving my first board meeting I was nothing short of inspired. Inspired by the other people on the board. Inspired by the Day Dreams Foundation’s mission. Most of all, inspired by the stories I heard about the kids and families. During my first meeting to hand out a scholarship I met an amazing family. This little girl and her mother were fun, enthusiastic and motivated. It was impossible not to leave with that same attitude. She told me that acting classes would not only help her do well in the upcoming play, but also help her to make friends and be more social. I give my time to being a board member because in the short time I have been involved I have seen the impact these scholarships have on kids and their families.
Donating money to Day Dreams Foundation doesn’t just help children participate in an extracurricular activities, it gives them the opportunity to learn about themselves, accomplish goals, and work towards their dreams! #donate4dreams
My involvement in the Day Dreams Foundation comes from simple reasons. I like giving back, so that of course made it an easy choice. But on a more personal level, it presented me an opportunity to be apart of something that I would have needed as a young man. There were many times growing up where my mother, mostly raising two boys on her own,couldn’t afford to pay for us to do the things we wanted, both in and out of school. When a scholarship application is read during our board meetings, I feel a subdued-but-sharp twinge of familiarity as we hear about the desperate circumstances that lead families to reach out to us. I know those situations all too well. But that’s why I know it’s imperative that I do what I can to help now that I’m blessed to have the chance to help. I couldn’t accept Joe’s invitation to join the foundation fast enough.
On this Giving Tuesday, I implore those of you with the means to do so to make a charitable donation because extracurriculars are things that many of us take for granted every day, but for hundreds of kids in just Columbia, it’s not as easily accessible. Think back to what you wanted to do after school in your formative years; now think about those options, for reasons outside of your own control, suddenly not being on the table. That’s the harsh reality facing so many children in Columbia today. But if you give, that could very well mean one less family in that position. When put that way to me, the choice to serve was unquestionably easy.
I started taking piano lesson’s in 3rd grade. I wasn’t so sure about the idea, but my dad had taken them as a kid and insisted I at least give it a shot. My teacher was a recommendation from a neighbor who my parents had never met before signing me up for lessons. From my first lesson I knew I would like her. She has a way about her that makes you feel important. When she listens to you, it’s easy to tell that she truly cares what you have to say. She lights up the room with her smile and infectious laugh and is easily on of the most vivacious people I have ever met. I took piano lessons from that first lesson in 3rd grade, all the way until I graduated high school. Over the years, she became so much more than a piano teacher to my family and I.
Beverly makes all of her students feel like part of the family. She hosts annual Halloween and Christmas parties, filled with piano performances, but also filled with laughter and a sense of belonging. She encourages her students to get to know one another by having us participate in duets, and even quartets. Every year, all the high-schoolers are invited to “piano camp” at her lake house with a little bit of piano, and a lot of tubing, swimming, and fun.
Beverly is an expert at helping her students reach their full potential. She chooses pieces for them that are within their skill level, but always just a little harder than the last piece. More than that, she truly believes you can do it. She knows just how to console you after you blew a performance or competition, and no one is prouder when you go home with a trophy or a blue ribbon.
I looked forward to my lesson with Beverly every week, and it had nothing to do with playing piano. Beverly was someone to talk to, someone who I knew would listen to me without judgment, and offer truly heartfelt advice and love. When my father passed away suddenly, it was speaking with Beverly every week that I remember as being one of the most helpful ways of dealing with my grief.
Beverly taught me how to play piano, but she also taught me how to embrace what life throws at you and make the best of it. She taught me how to read music, but she also taught me that your relationships with others are what are truly important. She taught me that practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. She taught me to use the acronym, “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” to remember the lines on a treble clef, but she also taught me to work hard and not to use shortcuts. She taught me to make a plan and set goals, but also to go with the flow when your plans fell through. She taught me that my best is good enough.
I am a better person today because of Beverly. I can only hope that all children have the opportunity to have a mentor like her, whether it’s through piano lessons, a sport, or another extracurricular activity. The Day Dream Foundation works to ensure that all children have that chance, and that’s why I am honored to serve on it’s board of directors. Please consider making a donation today in honor of an important mentor in your life!
I absolutely love being involved with Day Dreams because it means another child gets to smile. I get to work with a lot of students in an academic setting, but seeing the positive impacts of participation in an extra-curricular have shown me what a stepping stone of opportunity a scholarship can be. I have had the blessing of meeting with a Day Dreams scholarship recipient and seeing how she is growing as a leader and a talented artist. This is just one part of Day Dreams that makes my heart happy.
Another part is you! The community involvement and support to make more and more dreams possible always blows me away. When so many people rally around something that builds so much good it reminds me what a wonderful world we live in.