One Thousand Days of Love: A Father’s Story
My son is on the cusp of turning three. That is exactly 1,095 days that my wife and I have managed to keep him healthy and safe. It’s an accomplishment to be sure. He’s a wonderfully precocious child with almost no fear, so some days keeping him healthy and safe are downright laudable. He is never boring. I love him. He has transformed every facet of my life and taught me more about myself and about being a decent human than I could have imagined possible. He has also helped me to realize that my job as a parent is so much more than just providing a healthy and safe environment for him to grow.
“For the rest of his life, he will benefit from the care afforded to him in this first, most crucial, thousand days of life.”
My job as his daddy is to teach him how to be a good and kind human. To give him all the kisses. To discipline him when necessary. To be the best example of positive masculinity. It is my job to help prepare him to be his own person. He is now a remarkable toddler with a keen wit, an increasing mastery of language and a big personality. He can tell jokes and complex stories and gives the very best hugs in the world. My son can do these things because he has been blessed, given access, by way of his parent’s privilege, to good doctors, clean water, proper nutrition and other critical necessities. Most importantly, he has been nurtured by his family and extended circle of friends, honorary uncles and aunts and caregivers. For the rest of his life, he will benefit from the care afforded to him in this first, most crucial, thousand days of life.
Just like my son, the children in the communities in which we partner are filled with precocious spirited young ones, surrounded by parents and caregivers that want the very best for them. To help make that dream a reality, Episcopal Relief & Development is asking our friends and supporters to join us for one thousand days. Through the ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign, we invite you to help communities around the world nurture children to their full potential. This campaign is our opportunity to celebrate children’s lives and the universal importance of children to all of us. At the very least, we have all been children with dreams and hopes for our futures.
“ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE is our opportunity to celebrate children’s lives and the universal importance of children to all of us.”
This sentiment also underscores the importance of World Children’s Day. A day each year set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the promotion of international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare.
This year, as we celebrate World Children’s Day and strive to uphold these values of togetherness and to improve life for our children, we invite everyone to join ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE by engaging in acts of love of their own. These acts can include:
● Learning about the campaign and our work with children.
● Sharing the campaign with your congregations and communities on social media, through online peer-to-peer fundraising and other creative campaign activities.
● Giving as an individual or congregation to help expand our work with children.
Regardless of how you choose to participate, we hope people will see ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE as a meaningful opportunity to join us in ministry and in loving our global community through caring and nurturing our children. It takes a community filled with love to raise my son. I hope that each of you will consider the children you have loved and nurtured and will join Episcopal Relief & Development in celebrating World Children’s Day and by working together for lasting change in the lives of all children.
Chad Brinkman is the Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s 1000 Days of Love campaign.
First image: A happy father holds his daughter in Myanmar; Second Image: Young girl enjoys seesaw in Kenya; Third Image: Smiling children in Kenya.
Photo Courtesy: Episcopal Relief & Development