Friday, May 11, 2012

Red Cross Supporter Jackie Stevens’ Mother’s Day Gift: A Daughter Giving Back

Written by Catherine Carlton, volunteer contributor

Claire Stevens sings with her heart and giving spirit at her coffee house fundraiser earlier this month.

Jackie Stevens has made the importance of giving back an ongoing lesson for her third-grade daughter, Claire.

It started with a specific piggy bank for charity efforts, which sat alongside two other banks: one for savings and one for spending. She has great pride in her daughter’s recent endeavor in giving back to her community – and so do we.

After seeing coverage of the DFW tornados last month, Claire suggested she do something to help the Red Cross help the families impacted by the storms. “We could make money for the Red Cross when we do a coffee house,” Claire told her mom.

Claire has been taking piano lessons for about 18 months and recently connected that she could use her music to help others. When a family friend who goes to the same music school as Claire asked her to play at a coffee house with him, she suggested that they use the show to raise money for the Red Cross. Claire’s fellow performer was immediately on board and thought the idea was awesome.

“She was so excited to help,” Jackie said, noting Claire knew that the storms meant some kids lost their homes, their stuffed animals, their toys and even their puppies. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like to come home from school and not have your house and your room.

Jackie added, “We were so proud that we offered to match their donations.”
In total, Claire and her fellow performer donated $204.28. The end feeling became infectious in Claire, who is already thinking about her next charitable endeavor. “We can do it again and get more people to come and we can raise more money,” Claire explained to her mom.

“As a mom you talk to your kids about a lot of things, big and small, and how they should respond,” Jackie said. “And you hope when situations arise they will make good decisions and follow through. You hope that they are understanding why philanthropy is so important, and that you’re doing a good job of being a positive role model. When you realize they get it, it’s such a great feeling. I’m really proud.”

The American Red Cross, commonly referred to as “The World’s Greatest Mother,” wishes everyone a Happy Mothers Day. We know that the spirit of giving often begins at home, and we appreciate you and what you do to teach the idea of giving back and helping organizations like the Red Cross.

How did you learn to give back to your community?

Jackie shared, “I learned about giving back from watching my parents who never made a big deal about the things they did to help and they were always there for me and my sisters. My husband is also a big believer in charity so when Claire was about 3, we started the piggy banks and modeling an attitude of giving back. We have a ‘Thanksgiving Clean Out’ the weekend after Thanksgiving and we donate clothes and toys to Goodwill every year. We donate clothes to Catholic Charities throughout the year and started a tradition of donating to the North Texas Food Bank in the names of Claire's teachers/administrative team at Christmas.”

To follow 9-year-old Claire’s example and make a donation to the Red Cross, visit us online at, text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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