Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Something to Wear: My Cause, My Cleats

This Advent, I have enjoyed framing "Holy Cross Family Time" around the "Four Gift Christmas Challenge." A close cousin or kindred spirit to the Advent Conspiracy, the Four Gift Christmas Challenge has gained traction thanks to social media. In fact, I heard a DJ recommending it on the radio today as an alternative approach toward holiday shopping.  Limiting what we receive to just four gifts, may still be a sign of abundance for many people in the world, but for so many others, it's a thoughtful way to frame how, what and why we give. 
When I shared this challenge with my students, they fell silent and then laughed when I revealed the fourth and final gift: something to read. All but a few admitted that they would be disappointed if they received a book. More on this: my personal diatribe and manifesto later...

I asked them what happened. I said, "How did we go from the joy of Scholastic book orders and book fairs, and the nightly ritual of reading with your parents to disdain for the gift of a book?

As I am often reminded, things change. When I was young, I would have been disappointed with a gift of something to wear. Today, receiving new clothing, shoes and accessories is a treat. And what might be even better is something you may have seen on the gridiron this past weekend: My Cause, My Cleats.

Now in third consecutive season, the NFL in collaboration with its players represent hundreds of charitable organizations that may be near and dear to them or one for which they want to raise awareness and support.

As written on NFL.com, "The league will post videos and profile cards to tell the stories behind the cleats. Many players have worked directly with Nike, Under Armour and adidas to design their cleats. Other teams worked with an independent designer to create cleats for participating players." Even better, all week 14 games feature players on the field wearing their cleat of cause. Most of the cleats are auctioned off or sold and all the money goes to the designated charitable organization. 

I suppose bidding on Jimmy Garappalo's cleats wouldn't necessarily fall under "something to wear" or "something I need" but it just might under "something I want." I love this tradition and sharing with my students how we can all be creative in our efforts to support organizations that serve others.  Why not?!

What might be the best part of this sharing is how my students took the cause and cleat one step further. Today, two seniors integrated its history and founding into our class prayer. Please read the background information they have provided and the video link to hear from the founder, Brandon Wanton....Christian, athlete, husband, brother, and activist.

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