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This time of the year is panic for snowbirds, parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Your easy replacement children (see my 4 pets in the photo) get replaced with little humans. They need to be entertained and a bone won’t do! In just a week, you must do something with all these little kids visiting from out of state and out of school. Swimming kills one day. But then what? Don’t worry, as I have the credentials to be your inner Sacagawea and Lewis & Clark. Or at minimum Julie McCoy.
There are lists on the internet you can rely on, but most are selling their own stuff. It’s like trying to buy the best dark roast coffees for your Keurig. Thank goodness I’m a dark roast coffee person. Life is quite complicated if not. My wife likes all that stuff in hers. Whole milk, skim milk, cream, sugar, Splenda, half and half. Spilled milk on the counter. Little sugar dots. Cap on. Cap off. Something to stir with. Me, it’s in and out. The only problem I have is figuring out the very best dark roast coffees. Google it and sometimes I get sites that are pay for play. The Green Mountain and Donut Shop are not the best dark roast coffee on the market! Now Maudes I can vouch for, same with Peets. If you are a dark roast coffee person, send me your best choices and I will try them and be forever grateful.
In return and even on contingency, I’ll do you a solid with your “what to do the “little person”” problem. Back in 1991 when I was in Chicago, a few of my officemates and myself delivered some secret Santa gifts to the Ida B Wells home to families in need. That project on the South Side of Chicago was not a good place to call home. A few years later they shut the place down and destroyed it. That experience always bothered me after seeing run down projects without lots of safety nets for kids. One day I hoped to get involved and help a child in need although wasn’t sure how. An old client navigated me to Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS is a terrific program and matches a Big (me) with a Little. I’ve been involved for nearly a year and it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. People my age and older are perfect for this program. The reason why is twofold. The first is that people my age are experienced at parenting or grandparenting and just know what to do. Second is you get to do fun things again without being responsible for the day to day. And that’s why I’m qualified to tell you what to do with a 10-year-old. Because I’ve had to think of things to do with a my Little 10-year-old for the past year! So here are my top 12 days of Christmas for your Little Relative…….
**** Bonus Day
Since its the giving season, I’ll give a pitch to see if you know anyone who might be interested in BBBS. BBBS is short nearly 300 “Male Bigs” in Martin & PBC. Women volunteer much more than men but kids most in need, call for a male mentor in their lives. Its not just our local area, as more male mentors throughout the country are needed. That means there are boys along with their female guardian that are looking for a male mentor. The goal of the program is not to be a replacement father figure or hero. Its to bring out the potential that is already inside all of us. Its more than just doing “fun” things as well. Sometimes its helping with homework strategies or bullying advice. Teaching moments naturally occur. For instance, my Little has a big interest in cars. I asked him what he was excited about doing when he grew up and he said maybe work for a dealership. I said why not own a dealership? I called Earl Stewart of Earl Stewart Toyota. Earl, his wife, and son generously spent three hours answering questions and talking about what it takes to run a dealership. We worked on dress, handshake, eye contact, questions to ask and much more before we showed up. Showing a child possibilities and pathways out of poverty is incredibly rewarding. It impacts mood, purpose, loneliness, problem solving and much of what the holiday season I think is supposed to be like year round. The matching process and background checks take time but its so worthwhile. It also helped that my White Sox lost 101 games giving me lots more free time. But seriously, middle aged and older people are perfect for this 2-4 hour every other week program. The word Big Brother really is a misnomer as the just having someone caring and paying attention is the only responsibility. Giving money to your Little or their family is forbidden. They just want YOU. Anyhow, that’s my holiday pitch. Give me a call if you know someone who is interested and I’ll answer away.
Don’t forget, you can find tons more ideas on our “Things to do” video blog page: https://www.echofineproperties.com/category/things_to_do/
From, Echo Fine Properties – We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season with you and your family.
Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet. Some publications he has been quoted in.
Author of business & leadership book How Making a Sandwich Can Change Your World – The Amazing Success of the PB&J Strategy – Available to Buy Now!
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