Looking at the Whole Child

When it comes to which charitable issues people care about, there is one that appeals to most everyone: KIDS! But helping children is, in reality, a complex issue.

Here is a compelling question: If you had to choose the most important issue facing kids today, what would it be?

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Unless you’ve been mobilized for a cause or issue based on a personal experience – a serious illness, an act of violence or a learning disability, perhaps the purest of motivations – it is almost impossible to determine a single issue facing children that is more important than something else.

I believe that when you consider the well being of a child, you must consider the whole child – issues affecting a child’s health, education, safety and overall well-being.

An oft-quoted saying is “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

As a crusader for children, I truly believe this when it comes to helping them. Orchestrating help and relief in all parts of a child’s life has a greater impact than a flurry of discordant activities focusing on small aspects.

I strongly believe that the key to helping the whole child is identifying and addressing the most compelling issues that are affecting the largest number of children and then identifying those charitable organizations that are or will make the greatest impact in those areas.

One of our initiatives as a nonprofit is to be innovative and impactful – not only in execution but philosophy. The premise of joining together to impact not just parts of a child’s life, but the whole of it, was put into play last year when we created the Whole Child Committee.**

As part of this initiative, thought leaders from all areas of a child’s life come together to discuss what they see day in and day out – what the greatest needs are and what the dialogue is surrounding these issues. Together, their resources and recommendations form a picture of what needs to be done to help the whole child, rather than just parts.

These discussions give us a roadmap to determine where to best focus our efforts and resources in making a difference. It also helps those individuals seeking to help a child know that their donations are going to nonprofit organizations who together are working to address the greatest needs in all areas of a child’s life.

Because where kids are concerned, a whole life is better than part of one.

**The Whole Child Committee is comprised of:
-Dr. John Nelson, past president of the American Medical Association.
-Dr. Lisa Markman, professor at Princeton University and participates on creating the Futures of Children studies.
-Dr. Carol Berkowitz, former head of the American Pediatrics Association
-Jack Calhoun, founder of the National Crime Prevention Council.

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Filed under Initiative: Children's Issues, Whole Child

2 responses to “Looking at the Whole Child

  1. I completely agree with you! I too have a blog about children’s issues and I found your blog while looking for similar blogs. I will add this one to my blogroll for sure! 🙂

  2. Bob

    I appaude your efforts to meet the needs of children throughout the world. When we look at our kids we see society in miniature and I not only believe the Gestalt point of view, but further, when we loose a part the whole is somehow dimished.

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