When you have a four day school week that includes Valentine’s Day, the 100th Day of school, 2 in school birthday celebrations, an enormous food drive, a paper for grad school and report grades due…it doesn’t feel like a four day week!
Years ago, our school district gave us a full week off in February. Now, we get Friday and Monday. Not a whole week, but these four days off starting tomorrow, will give me the chance to catch my breath.
Right now I am just thinking how nice it will be nice to go to bed without setting an alarm!
Hoping all of my teacher friends have a nice relaxing and calm long weekend!!
It is amazing when you are able to work in a place where you can help to do good things for others while teaching empathy at the same time. For nine years I have been running a food drive at our school. We challenge every class to collect 100 items by the 100th Day of School. We have over 25 classes in our school, so if each class reaches the goal, we are able to donate close to 3000 items to local food pantries. Once again, our amazing school community did it! Thanks to them and our many volunteers, children, teachers and parents, we loaded over 200 bags into 8 cars and delivered it all to two local food pantries.
I love when students come to me and tell me it is one of the things they look forward to every year. No matter their age, from the Kindergarteners to the fifth graders, I love to see their enthusiasm when they see the bags of food piling up outside of my classroom. They can see the impact of how much good can be done when everyone pitches in.They are learning such an important lesson and so many people will benefit because of it.
This afternoon, I, along with several amazing volunteers delivered over 125 bags of food to two local food pantries. Our school had our annual 100th Day of School Food Drive. We challenge every class to collect 100 items by the 100th day of school, (today,) and then all of it gets donated to these two food pantries.
I am fortunate to teach in a community of very supportive families and their contributions helped to fill the shelves. When I arrived at one of the pantries, the shelves were nearly empty. There were lots of green beans and tomato sauce, but other than that, the shelves were nearly bare. The woman who organizes the pantry told me that they weren’t sure what was going to happen on Saturday when people came to get food, because there was so little there to give them.
I am so grateful that our school was able to do a part in getting those shelves filled. Sadly, that food won’t last long and I wish there was a way to get the word out about how important it is to keep the pantries stocked.
When you see a “Can Can Sale,” grab a few extras. Drop them off. They are needed more than most people are aware!!
Small Business Saturday looked like it was a success here in Maplewood. Our village was bustling with activity. I spent most of my day at home preparing another turkey for our “Second Thanksgiving Dinner” which we celebrate tomorrow with my sister’s family who are always away for Thanksgiving. We do leftover turkey sandwiches so the turkey is made the day before.
I left Dave at home to baste it while I ran out to shop for about an hour. I got some stocking-stuffers and treated myself to some new boots – which I got for a steal! Plus I got a great “Small Business” tote bag just for shopping today.
There were a lot of “give backs” today too in town. Toy drives, coat drives and food drives throughout the village reminding everyone that through all the spending, there are still ways to support those in need.
So, I participated in Black Friday and Small Business Saturday which leaves me with one more day….Cyber Monday to get caught up in all of the shopping hype. Is there a name for the Sunday between these days? If there isn’t already, I am sure someone will find a way to profit from it soon enough!!
Tonight, I took Drew and we went over to St. Joseph’s food pantry to help shelve some of the food that we brought over from The 100th Day Food Drive my school held two weeks ago. In total our school had collected about 150 bags of food. Half of it went to St. Joe’s, so with 75 bags of food just from Tuscan School, plus all the other donations that were there, a lot needed to be done. I wanted to bring Drew along. He was a big help in getting the program started at Tuscan School. When he was in second grade, he won a “Littlest Volunteer Award.” He received $50 to use towards his project. In his essay for the contest, he had written that he would buy bins to hold the food that was collected by all of the classes. Together, he and I went to Target, bought large bins and distributed them to the classrooms in the school. We used them for a few years until they dwindled down and the bags became easier for transporting.
Mr. and Mrs. Blaesser, parents of very good friends of ours, help to keep the St. Joe’s food pantry running smoothly. They were so grateful for the food and when we dropped it off, we asked if they needed help on sorting night, (tonight.) They said they could never predict how many people would be able to come to sort so they said they would be happy to have us help. It was a big night for volunteers. At least 25 people must have shown up to help out. Volunteers of all ages were there to help. Such a nice thing to see.
The shelves were nearly empty when we arrived. By the time all of the food was sorted, the shelves were filled. What a sight! Thursday night, all that food gets bagged up for families to pick up on Saturday. A large amount of it gets delivered to home-bound seniors. I am sure that despite the amount that was there tonight, after Thursday, there will be very little once again. There is such a dire need for food and every little bit helps.
For the rest of the month, the studio where I have been taking classes, Viva Z, is holding a food drive. They will donate all items collected to the food pantry as well. Collecting and donating food is not hard to do and it is so needed. I am sure there is a food pantry somewhere near you that would be grateful to receive anything that you are able to donate. Spread the word and give what you can.
Our annual 100th Day Food Drive was a success!
Our students and teachers had been collecting food since the beginning of February. Today, we gathered it and lined it all up in the hallway outside of my classroom. I lost count but there were close to 2000 items. It makes me so proud to live and work in such a great community.
Our school is a K-5 school and I know that the older students understand why we do these food drives, but when my five and six year old students see that number of bags and the amount of food, the looks on their face is priceless. The best part is that they realize why we are doing this. We talk about how there are people in our own neighborhoods who cannot afford things as simple as food and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a difference. Even at such a young age, they are demonstrating a social responsibility and helping others.
The bags I purchased yesterday worked out even better than I thought they would. We stuffed them as much as we could. At the end of the day, close to 150 bags and boxes of food were packed and ready to go. I am so grateful to the teachers, students and parents who helped to pack up cars and deliver the food. It would have never have gotten done without their help. I am especially grateful to one former dad, Chris, who still comes back and helps us out every year even though his daughters no longer attend our school and to my husband Dave who comes and helps with all of my “projects” all of the time.
I don’t do these projects to get praise and accolades from others. I do it to raise awareness. If we, as parents and teachers, can begin to instil empathy in children at a young age, perhaps we can inspire them to continue to make contributions to society as they grow.