Activism is not new to Ryan (Brown). He had an activist heart from day 1! As a matter of fact, when he was about 5, he decided that he had a solution to the homeless problem in the US. He wrote a letter to President Ronald Reagan and told him that if he would just collect $1 from each person in the US he would have enough money to buy houses for the homeless. He included his $1 in the letter. The "president" sent a response thanking him for his letter, but returning the $1 because the White House could not accept cash. So, when Eli, his baby brother came along 15 years after that event, it wasn't surprising that he had the same heart. Now Ryan has been in SA all of Eli's life and their other brother, John (aka Bibby to Eli) was at college so Eli has been virtually an only child. Anyway, one day when he was 5, I dropped Eli off for swim team practice at the local YMCA. When I got back to pick him up he was waiting for me at the door with great excitement. He said "Mom, come look at this!!" and he drug me over to see an Angel Tree that had been placed in the lobby. For anyone that doesn't know, it has paper angels with childern's names, ages, sizes and a gift they would like for Christmas and you select one to fulfill the wishes. He said "I want to do this!!!" He was so excited and I was just as excited to see his "activist heart" in action. He said, "I have already picked one that's a 5 year old boy. All we have to do is take it to the lady at the counter, and the best part that you won't believe is....all of the kids are FREE!!!" That's when it dawned on me.....he thought we were taking home a 5 year old brother for him! I suppose he thought the lady at the counter had them lined up back there ready to go home with us. He was crestfallen when he found out the truth, but nonetheless, we took an angel and filled his wishes. You just have to be careful out there in the "activist world" though because as Ryan and Eli can tell you, it's full of disappointments along with the joy! Merry Christmas!
Ryan, John, and Eli's mom :)