Like most young boys, Connor loves to explore the great outdoors and use his imagination to build things. At almost 10-years-old, he practices martial arts and he's interested in writing books. But he also has a very unique interest for someone his age; He wants to make the world a better place.
For the second summer in a row, Connor will be outside mowing lawns to earn a little extra cash. Yet, while most kids dream of saving money for toys and games, Connor imagines something a little different with his earnings: A better life for another child.
Age is Only a Number
David, Connor's dad, notes that his son has always had an innate sense of compassion toward others. Looking for another opportunity to help people, Connor expressed a desire to help someone less fortunate than himself. But because Connor was so young, they had a hard time finding an organization that would allow him to volunteer.
"I really wanted to help people and I felt bad that I couldn't help because of my age," Connor explained.
Inspiration struck one day when David was listening to the radio and heard about the charity Compassion International. This organization focuses on providing medical care, food, clean water and education to those in underprivileged countries. Upon further research and after a discussion together, Connor decided that this was an effort that he wanted to support.
The Meaning in Work
To raise money, he decided to start mowing lawns, the perfect job for a kid who loves to be outdoors. Connor and David figured out that the earnings from one season of yard work could cover the living costs for a family in need for an entire year.
To date, Connor has purchased his own lawn mower and has a list of clients that he does regular work for. David accompanies his son to each job and uses their bonding time as an opportunity to teach Connor what he knows about the lawn care industry.
Connor is sponsoring a family in El Salvador and he occasionally corresponds with the child in the family. Though it feels great to help people by mowing their lawns, it's really the feeling of satisfaction he gets from helping a family in real need that motivates him to continue his work.
"My life is more at ease [knowing that I can help another person]," he says.
To Connor, his work is more rewarding when it has a purpose greater than himself.
Words of Wisdom
Connor credits his dad to much of his success and his ability to contribute to a cause that he cares about. He encourages other kids to find something that they're passionate about and help out where they can. And if age is an obstacle, Connor advises others to find a parent or mentor who can connect them with the right resources.
After all, age should never stop you from what you truly want to do.