Playground of Dreams & The Gift of Giving

Back in March I wrote a post about Playground of Dreams, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to helping kids pursue their dreams and visions for our world. At that time, I was finishing up my last semester at UNC and honestly didn’t really have any idea what POD was all about aside from the event they were putting on that April. To my surprise (and great fortune) one of the co-founders stumbled upon my blog and contacted me. I mentioned that I was planning to move to LA after graduation and would love to get involved. Fast forward nine months, I am now a POD mentor and also helping them with their social media efforts. Most importantly, I am so grateful to be able to call this community of amazing people my family. Each and every member of this team exude joy, courage and passion in a way that is truly inspiring. This holiday season I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities, laughs and friendships POD has given to me, and to so many others.

In the spirit of being a less than a week away from Christmas, I wanted to share a post I wrote for the POD blog about GIVING.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is watching people open presents – the joy and surprise on their faces, the laughter, the gratitude, the subsequent hugs, everything. Being a part of someone else’s happiness in turn makes me happy. A greater happiness than I could feel by just receiving gifts from others. I encourage you this holiday season – and throughout the entire year – to give unconditionally. Always remember the value of giving to others. After all, how awesome would the world be if we all gave without expectation? Without concern for what we receive in return?

There are countless ways to give. Whether it’s money, time, a song, a dance, or even a simple “thank you,” we all have unique gifts that are meant to be given and shared with the world. Even the most ordinary of efforts can change the world in extraordinary ways. Most of the time, it isn’t with our money but with our time, resources and creativity that builds stronger relationships with family, friends and community. We give to show someone they are loved and appreciated. We give to make a difference. We give to show that we care. We give love to get love.


“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

“Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned.” – Steve Maraboli


How do I want to show others they are loved/appreciated/special?

Why is giving to others important to me?

What do I say to those closest to me about why I give, especially to the children in my life?

Anna Herbert, co-founder of Playground of Dreams, helps prepare for the LAPD Youth Holiday Party Toy Drive.

To learn more about Playground of Dreams, visit the website. And keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook!

1 Comment

  1. Sterling – beautiful written, and we are so grateful for you! You are a delight AND amazing with our kids! Much love

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