By Jennifer Cranston, Gallagher & Kennedy
I didn’t know I was a DINK until about a year ago. I was engaging in pre-meeting small talk when a member of the group explained the reason he could afford an outrageously expensive sports car collection was his status as a “DINK” – Dual Income, No Kids. Like the moment when Alicia Silverstone’s character suddenly realizes that she loves Josh in the 1995 film “Clueless,” the light bulb in my head burst with recognition: I’m married (check) and we both work (check) and we don’t have any children (check); ergo, I’m a DINK!
Once the initial shock wore off, I began to question the significance of this new-found status. Did I need to start collecting sports cars? Or wearing different clothes? Or seeking out a new group of friends? Happily, I realized that the answer to all of these questions is “no.”
Being a DINK does not necessarily equate with a materialist lifestyle. Instead, being a DINK means that I am in the blessed position of having extra time and resources available to invest in my community. If I had kids, I would follow the example set by my parents and spend time, energy, and funds to ensure that my children have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and the opportunity to succeed. As a DINK, I don’t have kids of my own; instead, I have a whole community of kids. And, as a DINK, I have extra time, money, and resources to spend making sure that the kids in my community have roofs over their heads, food in their bellies, and opportunities to succeed.
That’s why – even before realizing my DINK status – I became a loyal supporter of Valley of the Sun United Way and joined the Women’s Leadership Council. As a WLC member, it has been my pleasure and honor to unite with philanthropic women for the benefit of all our kids. Through our WLC events and programs – especially our We Are United Luncheon supporting Breakfast in the Classroom – we are actively changing the lives of children in our community.
So, if you suddenly realize that you too are a DINK, you should also realize that you can impact an entire community of kids. If we work together, we can achieve WLC’s mission of making sure every child in our community is prepared to succeed. What a tremendous opportunity for a DINK!