The date was May 25, 1986. I was eight years old. My mom and dad came into my room to take our family to Springfield, Illinois, for something called Hands Across America. Traveling 100 miles in the family car, I knew nothing about what we were going to do, be a part of, or even what it was for.
That day, for 15 minutes, my dad, mom, sister, and I joined hands with more than 6.5 million other Americans across the country. We donated $10 to reserve our spot in line, and our donation, combined with others, raised more than $34 million to alleviate famine in Africa and fight hunger and homelessness in the United States.
This was my first social movement for good.
Looking back, I'm extremely thankful to my mom and dad for bringing me there. That experience influenced how I look at cause work and helped make me who I am today.
Social movements are very much a part of our culture. At some point, we have all participated in one of these movements—as donors, as activists, and as promoters of these important events that make change happen. It's hard to ignore the many movements happening in our society. They enthrall us. Our friends and family care passionately about something and by virtue of our relationship, so do you. These movements matter.
From that summer day in 1986 when I joined hands with ...