Sometimes parents just don’t get it. They try so hard to protect little Jimmy and Janie from the disappointments of life that they lose sight of the big picture. Disappointment and rejection are coming to Janie and Jimmy as sure as lawyers to car wrecks, and they need to learn how to handle them. (The disappointments and the lawyers.)


A concerned mom called Fort Worth Weekly recently to complain that some kids she knows wanted to participate in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk coming up Nov. 6-8 in Dallas but weren’t being allowed to. Problem was, the youngsters hadn’t raised the minimum amount of donations – $2,300 each – required to qualify.

“Some of these kids are young, and they are trying to do something good,” she said. “To tell them they can’t do the three-day walk is not right.”

She lamented that the qualifying amount seemed excessive for kids to raise, particularly for kids who want to show their support for breast cancer sufferers, give back to their community, do something positive.

Static offers a big symbolic hug to the kids but – sorry – a cold shoulder to the moms and dads who would rather seek exceptions than tell their kids to work harder, find more donors, and reach the goal established by the foundation. The 60-mile walk over a three-day period is supposed to be difficult, and so is the minimum donation for qualifying.

“We intend to make the fund raising a challenge and we want to make the walk a challenge,” said organizer Pat Renzulli. “We really create a city that [entrants] live in. We provide housing, security, food, and medical care. There is an expense associated with this that is [different] from other kinds of fund raising.”

Last year, 3,200 participants raised $7.9 million, an average of $2,468 each.

Those who can’t raise enough money to qualify can still participate as volunteer crewmembers. “We attempt to be as inclusive as we can be, so there are other ways to participate,” Renzulli said. And, let’s remember, it’s raising money for a good cause that’s the objective here.

But hey, this discussion provides plenty of teaching moments for those kids: Math (what would it cost to provide food, water, security, and medical care for one person during the walk?). Civics: What other volunteer opportunities are out there, if the kids really want to contribute? Discipline: Instant and assured gratification are not the way of the world. And, in the phys. ed department – how hard is it to walk 60 miles in 3 days?

Or, Mom could whip out the old wallet and fork over $2,300 per kid. That would be a different lesson.