Kristen Blake isn’t used to being in the spotlight. With husband Steve suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers it’s usually he who finds himself in the media’s glare. But recently Kristen has found herself garnering her fair share of the attention. Luckily, it couldn’t be for a better cause.
As her thirtieth birthday approaches, friends and family have been prodding Kristen for what she wants for the special occasion. Yet the more she thought about it, the more she realized that the best gift she’d be able to receive was the knowledge that she’d be helping others.
A particular moment of the inspiration came this past Christmas when her sister in-law, instead of purchasing a gift, used money to buy a needy family’s layaway presents and then gave the receipt to Kristen as a personal gesture. It was at that moment when Kristen realized that if she could take that same dynamic and spread the message of giving to a larger audience, she might be able to create something really special.
So began the genesis of kristensbirthdaywish.com
Though the name of the site bears her name, the focus is on building a community of encouragement towards good will and involvement. It isn’t focused on one particular cause, but rather creating a culture of giving. The idea is that once people get in the habit of generosity, it becomes contagious.
Among the charities that Kristen supports are the Children’s Cancer Association, Athletes vs. Cancer, Africa New Life Ministries, The Randon Acts of Kindness Foundation, and the Samartian’s Purse.
It was for this last organization, the Samaritan’s Purse, that Kristen has set out to raise $1300 by running in the Hollwood Half Marathon this April 7. As an avid runner, she wanted to push herself to help encourage people to support, “I’m really asking people to challenging themselves by stepping outside of their box, by volunteering and donating and different ways of giving back. I felt it was only right that I challenge myself as well.”
So far she’s done more that just meet that mark, she’s exceeded it. And with Steve matching her fund raising efforts dollar for dollar, she couldn’t be happier with the support she’s gotten both from her family and the community around her.
For Lakers Nation readers, Kristen’s efforts are a reminder that while it’s basketball that brings us together, it’s the power we posses to mobilize our community to greater causes that truly makes all the difference. For Kristen, she knows that her husband’s fame and standing as a Los Angeles Laker provides her with a special platform to spread the spirit of giving. More than anything, it’s a tremendous opportunity to give back.
“I really believe that once you find your passion and your desire in helping other people you’re going to be totally hooked,” she’s says of her new mission.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to Kristen what charity you choose to support, even if it is not included on her site. Her aim is not to simply champion one cause, but to encourage people to find a cause that they believe in. The takeaway: If people took a little more time to pay it forward with acts of kindness and generosity, the benefits to all are boundless.
It’s a lesson worth remembering.