“Let’s go, Team Wild!” With these simple words uttered by my husband, we, the three musketeers of a New York family, joined 5,200+ other New Yorkers early Saturday morning at the Bronx Zoo, in successfully completing a 5K-run to raise money for the endangered wildlife.
Two months ago I signed up for the biggest physical challenge in my life: I will be joining thousands of other women warriors on Oct. 14-15 in New York City to walk 39 miles to raise breast cancer awareness. With the help of my family and friends, I quickly raised more than $2,200 for the Avon Foundation for Women. I was totally energized and inspired.
While training for “Avon 39,” I had another thought: I’d like to inspire my family to join me in an impactful event we all felt passionate about. Then one day on my Facebook page I came across an event notification for the “Bronx Zoo 5K Run for the Wild.” How fabulous it would be to run together as a family! I thought. I approached my husband and son with this idea. It turned out I was preaching to the choir: they were equally as enthusiastic as, if not more, than me. Almost immediately we rolled up our sleeves and started fund-raising and physical training. We named our team “Team Wild.”
I was very proud of my 12-year-old son. He not only rose up to the challenge, but also showed a strong sense of commitment. With the wonderful help from his family, teachers and neighbors, he quickly raised $355, twelve times the minimum participation requirement, and he earned his way into the event. Together we raised about $1,000 for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)!
As parents, we all want our children to be happy, healthy, successful, and perhaps most importantly, to be good people. In all honesty, my son is a wonderful boy. He is smart, gentle, empathetic, and has a great sense of humor. In my husband’s words, “he has a good soul.” But for better or for worse, my son also lives a life of privilege: he is well provided for, has two parents who love him unconditionally, travels around the world since a young age, attends an excellent school, and is surrounded by friends.
Although not his fault, privileges sometimes do hinder upon a person’s ability to understand the world in a broader term. So we’d like him to develop a more keen awareness and mindfulness of the planet he lives in—to appreciate the importance of interdependency among all living creatures. We’d also like him to understand that with every privilege comes with responsibility. We hope his participation in “Run for the Wild” serves one of the many building blocks for him to grow into a strong and compassionate global citizen.
“Run for the Wild” was truly a wonderful event to bring people together. New Yorkers of all body shapes, skin colors, young and old, men and women, ran alongside with each other, free of politics and judgments, and for one cause and one cause only: to save the endangered wildlife and preserve a healthy planet we live in.
On a personal note, in taking on this challenge, we had the most wonderful way to blend a fun family outing into a great cause on a gorgeous weekend day! To use my husband’s words: “We started together as a family, we stayed together as a family and we finished together as a family.”
High five, Team Wild!