I often think about the things Iíd do if I had a lot of money. (No, not shop retail at Nordstromís.) Iím talking meaningful things. Like ways I could give back, make an impact, and affect change. And thereís one idea Iíve had for a while now that I just keep coming back to whenever I have philanthropic thoughts.

Nope, itís not a cure for cancer or a way to end world hunger, even though I wish I was qualified to make those things happen. What Iíd like to do is something that Iím sure would greatly improve the quality of lots of lives, especially the lives of todayís youth. Itís something a little low on the general populationís radar, Iím sure, but no less significant.

If I had the resources, Iíd like to design, build and run a new type of school throughout the country. A school that kids would go to post-high school but pre-college. And not even for a year. Maybe just for a gap semester. Iím envisioning it as a place that would teach all our future generations of kids what I believe to be some of the most important life skills they can take with them into the world ó skills theyíll use and rely on every day of their lives.

Iím not talking about skills like how to apply mathematical equations or conjugate Spanish verbs or properly answer an open response question. Those are obviously important ones, but theyíre certainly not the kinds of skills most of us are going to draw on in our regular every-day lives after we graduate from school. I know I havenít. Like the last time I needed to apply a physics formula was in 11th-grade Physics.

What Iím talking about (and donít laugh cause this is serious), are skills like egg boiling and tire changing and button sewing and reading a thermometer. Skills like how to pump gas and check your own oil and reconcile a bank statement. These are real-life abilities that we all need in order to function in the real world. I mean, unless weíre all independently wealthy with a ton of hired help, weíre on our own to manage our To-Do List.

Think about it, how can any of our kids possibly manage in todayís world if they canít cook for themselves or iron a shirt or make themselves a doctorís appointment or recognize when itís a bad time to check their Instagram feed? They canít. And while itís absolutely our job as their parents to teach them all of these important life skills, I think most parents will agree that our kids are oftentimes more responsive to the things theyíre taught by people other than us.

Right now, according to a video that came across my news feed this summer from ATTN:, todayís generation of kids arenít being taught the essential life skills they need to survive in todayís world. ATTN: claims that 30 percent of kids in college havenít got a clue how to boil an egg on their own. They also say that 52 percent of US teens canít change a tire. And 70 percent of todayís youth canít sew on a button.

Now I distinctly remember taking Mrs. Potterís Home Economics class back in the late 70s, where I learned the finer art of making my own shark pillow and pot holders and the mad science behind button repair. But my own girls never had a class like that in junior high or high school. And even though Iíve hammered most of those things into my own girlsí heads, I wonder why every single school in this country isnít teaching kids those kinds of skills.

At my Life Basics School, though, theyíll learn Ďem all.

Weíll have basic cooking classes and a basic personal finance class that teaches kids how to manage a personal bank account. Weíll teach kids how to use an ATM machine and how to write checks. Weíll educate them on how to navigate a kitchen and a laundry room. Theyíll take basic Home Economics classes where theyíll learn how to sew on that button or use a sewing machine to hem a pair of pants.

I donít know, maybe itís because weíre a generation of helicopter parents who are constantly doing everything for our kids thatís made it impossible for many of them to learn to do for themselves.

Whatever the case, this is our new reality and we need to do something about it. So Iím leaving a coffee can on my front porch. If youíd like to donate to the Life Basics School Fund, please drop in whatever spare change you have. Donít worry, itíll be legit Ö weíll have our own football team (team jerseys sewn by our students, of course.)

ó Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at www.lisasugarman.com. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is and Untying Parent Anxiety: 18 Myths That Have You in KnotsóAnd How to Get Free available on Amazon.com and at select bookstores.