I woke up last Friday morning feeling exhausted and fighting off a cold. After a long day of work, I packed my car with supplies and made my way over to the Boys and Girls Club. In many ways, I was ready to head straight home, put on my pajamas and make a hot cup of tea, but I knew that would all change once we arrived. Just as I thought, as I walked in, one of the little girls in the program began enthusiastically chanting, “Ms. Kaitlin, Ms. Kaitlin”! As she ran toward me to give me a hug, I knew my bed could wait a few hours. I planned a lesson in which we read the story,Snowmen at Night and then we painted our own snow scenes with Q-Tips!
As we discussed the book and what we would do if we were snowmen at night, one student told me he would play football like Tom Brady. I jokingly told him we could not be friends anymore and he smiled, understanding my sarcasm. The excitement that filled the room for the next 3 hours we were there was better than a household full of intense football fans getting ready to watch the Super Bowl! The kids were happy, engaged in learning, and beyond appreciative for all their books. When we first started Kind Cotton, I kept telling myself and anyone who would listen that my goal for this company is to help children discover a love of literacy that transfers to the home.As we were passing out the books to the kids, one little girl ran over to me and immediately began reading. After a page, it was my turn. As we neared the end of the story, she looked at me confidently, and said “I am so happy, I finally have a bedtime story to read with my mom”! In that very moment, I felt inspired. She practiced reading to me one more time, to make sure she had it just right before she brought her book home and I couldn’t have been prouder of her accomplishment.Leaving that night, I couldn’t stop talking about the joy I felt just being a part of something important. It’s essential that we pave a way for children to feel and become successful. It’s vital that we take time out to listen to our kids, love them, and encourage their growth. Kevin and I are humbled by the generosity and reassurance we have received thus far along our journey. For those of you who have helped us along the way, know that we are forever grateful and we appreciate the kindness you’ve shown more than any thank you we could ever give you. And next time you’re rocking your favorite Kind Cotton top, wear it with pride because each of you has made an impact on a child.