Nurturing your child's desire to help others

Kathy Eldon, Parent with a Purpose, shares advice for parents on how to instill and nurture a desire in your children to help others in their community
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Nurturing your child's desire to help others

From the time my children were little, I really encouraged them to look outside of themselves. They were brought up in Africa, so there were no social services. When Dan came home one day to tell me about a story of a young girl in her class who was a scholarship student in his class, a Kenyon, who was desperately ill and needed a heart operation. We said, "Right. Go for it. Create something to raise the money." He and his friends started a movement. It was called, "Save a Heart." They raised the money for this heart operation. That was a really satisfying thing for Dan. When a family that he knew about needed help, he made an opportunity for him to sell the jewelry of this Masai woman -- I'm wearing one right now. -- masai jewelry. By doing that, she was able to raise enough money for her children to go to school. In doing that, that really lead to him wanting to help a whole community. That was a refugee camp in Malawai. He started a group of kids, student transport aid, took 15 kids across three countries in Africa to give the aid to these refugee camp. It changed their life forever. Quite frankly, that lead to him wanting to help an entire country. When he heard about a famine in Southern Somalia, he went off with his camera and took photographs that told the world about this desperate family. We went from one child, to a family, to a community, to an entire country. It was kind of an effortless transformation and change. It is really about nurturing that child's desire to help and to change. You have no idea where it can lead.

Kathy Eldon, Parent with a Purpose, shares advice for parents on how to instill and nurture a desire in your children to help others in their community


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Kathy Eldon

Parent with a Purpose and Founder & CEO, Creative Visions Foundation

Kathy Eldon was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Wellesley College and has since worked as an art teacher, television presenter, magazine editor, journalist, media consultant and a television and film producer in Kenya, England and the United States. She has written seventeen books on a variety of subjects including Angel Catcher, a Journal of Loss and Remembrance; Soul Catcher: a Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are; and Love Catcher, a Journal to Invite more Love in Your Life, all published by Chronicle Books. The journals were co-authored with her daughter Amy, who is her partner in Creative Visions, a television and film production company.

Kathy was the Executive Producer of the 1999 Emmy nominated Turner Broadcasting two-hour documentary, Dying to tell the Story, about journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs, which was conceived of and presented by Amy Eldon. In l999 Kathy exec-produced a one-hour CNN documentary, Soldiers of Peace: A Children's Crusade, about the Colombian children's peace movement, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Both films were distributed internationally to over 220 countries. Kathy's company also produced Lost in Africa, a family feature film distributed by Columbia Pictures internationally.

Kathy is currently producing a feature film about her son, artist and Reuters photographer Dan Eldon, who was stoned to death at the age of 22 in Somalia. In May, 2011, Kathy and Amy exec-produced, together with Julia Roberts, "Extraordinary Moms," a tribute to the power of mothers to change the world around them. Hosted by Julia Roberts, the special featured Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell and Christiane Amanpour.

Kathy edited The Journey is the Destination, a collection of Dan's journal pages which was published by Chronicle Books. Kathy and Amy are co-founders of Creative Visions Foundation, which supports "creative activists" who use media and the arts to create positive change. Over the past 10 years the foundation has incubated more than 80 projects and productions on five continents, touching the lives of more than 10 million people.

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