My sister is a second grade teacher at an impoverished school in Denver. She just sent me a heart-breaking plea via e-mail for donations for her kids in her class for Christmas. Here is part of her e-mail:
To put it bluntly: I have 26 8-year-old kids. 7 of them are homeless: they either live in shelters or with other family members. Most of them don't have their own coats, boots or enough food to eat at night. 5 of my kids' families have lost their jobs recently in the tough economic times we are facing and their futures look even more bleak. The school lunch and breakfast that we serve every day is the only times a few of my kids even get to eat. Five of my kids have family members (a mom or dad or brother) in jail, 2 just lost their cars and have no transportation and the vast majority of my kids don't have enough books, pencils, paper or even crayons at home to do their homework.
It's not that the parents are deadbeats or don't care: I've met all my parents and you've never seen a group of parents that are more devoted to their kids and passionate that their kids MAKE IT: they want their kids to rise above their situation and become better than they themselves have it."
As I read further, I got tears in my eyes seeing what some the children had requested for A Christmas present in a writing assignment (my sister did not edit their responses):
"...I need some socks because all mine have holes in them."
"...I would like two blankets because my house gets cold."
"...I would like a dol becasue I really want one."
"...in the store, I would like new shoes."
"...I need some pencils at home because I don't half any and I half to wait until my couzin is done with his homework. Also his homework has a lot of pages to do and it takes forever and ever and I don't get to finish not much of my homework."
"...a beautiful, red, sparkly dress. Like a princess."
"...a bike so I don't have to share with my brother and cuzzin."
"...I would like a nice dress that comes with a crown."
"...chapter books at home because I can onlee read the baby books of my brother."
A message like this really puts it in perspective. I was bummed this morning because a kitchen set I spotted on Craig's List for Cole, was already sold. But Cole, and Ryan will have other presents, and they have a warm house to sleep in, socks with no holes in them, and more pencils, crayons, and books than they know what to do with.
My sister said Wal-Mart gift cards are the most helpful, because most schools get tax-exempt status from Wal-Mart and then they can purchase whatever they do not receive in donations.
Instead of spending the money on a kitchen set, I plan to send my sister a Wal-Mart gift card, to help assure every child in her class gets ONE Christmas gift. I also plan to get another gift card for my local school, because the sad thing is, this is not a unique situation. Sadly, there are too many kids in exactly the same situation as the kids in my sister's class.
My sister said I could post her school information, and if you can help out, she and the kids would be eternally grateful. Perhaps she will be able to take some pictures of the kids with their gifts, and I can post some pictures of them in the future.
Please think about also making a donation to your local school- the thought of a child not having a gift on Christmas is so sad, let alone when a child just wants some socks with no holes in them, or a pencil so they can do their homework. I think my sister says it all with this sentence:
"There is nothing more heartwarming than the smile on a child's face when they are used to getting nothing (which reinforces to them that they don't matter and they don't deserve anything) and someone, somewhere, shows that they care about that child and that they MATTER to someone.
Please note: My sister said they can accept anything (pencils, chapter books, socks, crayons, etc.) EXCEPT FOR CASH and CHECKS. She needs donations in by December 12th.
If you can make a donation, you can mail it to:
Alsup Elementary School
C/O Mara Corzine
7101 Birch Street
Commerce City, CO 80022
Thank you for considering making a donation, and helping make a child's Christmas a little brighter.
Originally posted at A Mama's Blog
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