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Teaching Compassion: Charity Does Start at Home

Teaching Compassion: Charity Does Start at Home

I’m convinced that one of my biggest responsibilities as a parent—besides getting my sons to at least try Brussels sprouts—is to help the boys learn compassion. Of all of my accomplishments, the things I’ve found most fulfilling have been the opportunities I’ve had to lend a hand to someone in need. I want my sons …

one of my biggest responsibilities as a parent is to help them have comp...

I’m convinced that one of my biggest responsibilities as a parent—besides getting my sons to at least try Brussels sprouts—is to help the boys learn compassion. Of all of my accomplishments, the things I’ve found most fulfilling have been the opportunities I’ve had to lend a hand to someone in need. I want my sons to have the experience the same joy, and whenever I can, I encourage people to find ways to give back.

That wasn’t always the case. When I first started working with charities, I never mentioned these activities or allowed the organizations to use my name because I didn’t want people to think I was doing it for the publicity. But one day a friend pointed out that the public spotlight that’s often on me could help these worthy causes get much needed visibility. Since then, I’ve been much more public about my charitable actions. And I’ve found that it’s true: one good deed leads to another. The outpouring of public support for causes close to my heart has been amazing. That’s why I wanted to put charitable giving and good deeds at the center of this site. I know that stories of selfless acts will inspire others to tap into their own compassion and prompt them to find ways to help.

I also want to show that no act is too small. When we think of the issues facing us today like poverty and homelessness, they often feel so big that we don’t think we can make a difference. But the truth is, any small gesture or donation can have a huge effect on another single individual. We don’t need to be able to solve the problem entirely. We should just focus on playing our part in the big picture.

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For me, I’ve committed to doing what I can to help end child exploitation with the Ricky Martin Foundation. Our chief initiative is People For Children, which works to shed light on child trafficking. My boys will have to find their own passions. But whatever they are, I’ll feel proud and grateful knowing they’re making a difference.

What’s the cause closest to your heart? Share it here and tell us how we can help.

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