Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cheer

I know a lot of people use this time of year to talk about commercialism and greed...

But I have been overwhelmed with all the love, compassion, and giving I have seen in the last couple of weeks.

Teachers from across my school district came together to help a family in need. A Kindergarten teacher posted an ad in the district to see if anybody had a spare twin bed to donate. When her students were writing letters to Santa, this student asked for a Transformer and a bed. The student had to sleep on the floor, along with other siblings, because there were already too many people sharing one bed. Another teacher saw the post and emailed it out to everyone in the district. I read the email and was totally caught off guard by it. I never stopped to think about kids in my district not having a place to sleep. I didn't have a bed to give but I kept thinking about and praying for that family and all my students who are facing difficulties. I was so happy to read a letter that the student's teacher put in the district newsletter saying that not only had beds been donated for ALL the kids, they had new bedding, gifts for the other siblings, giftcards for the mother to buy other things they needed, and of course a brand new Transformer toy. One of the teachers and her husband drove all over picking up the donations and others helped get everything set up in the family's home. Awesome.

I work in two Title 1 buildings so a lot of my students are very low income. We are lucky enough to have the BackSnack program in my buildings that send food home with children for the weekend when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. In addition to the food sent home with those students (throughout the whole school year,) we have had winter accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves donated, a certificate for a free meal and a candy cane for EVERY student donated by a local church, brand new pairs of shoes donated (don't quote me on this but I believe by Payless Shoes) for students in need, and I'm sure the list goes on. We also had a really nice assembly to recognize and thank all the military families where one little boy got the best Christmas present ever when his dad got to come home from Kuwait and surprise him. But, I will post more about that (and the accompanying Art projects) after I find a link to the news story.

And finally, Christmas cheer brought to you by my 98 year old Great Grandma, or, Old Grandma as my brother and I have always called her. I live in a small town where our local newspaper still publishes all the kids' letters to Santa. This year Old Grandma sent her own letter in.

Dear Santa,
I’ve never written to you before so I guess it’s high time I did, so here goes. Maybe that’s why I never got the doll buggy I wanted years ago.
Now about this year - I don’t need a thing. I have everything I need or have room for but sure hope you can bring all the little kids what they ask for. Hope you and Mrs. Claus are both well. Thanks for everything.
Dorothy, Age 98

I heard from one of Santa's helpers that Old Grandma might be getting a doll buggy of her own this year. I'm sure he won't forget to bring Old Grandpa a surprise, too.

And, yes, in case you were wondering, I DO know how incredibly lucky I am to still have 2 great grandparents living, in addition to all of my grandparents. Christmas blessings all around!

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