Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PENNIES FOR PATIENTS

Such a proud proud mama today.

The kids were tasked to collect as much spare change as they could pull together for a program their school is sponsoring called Pennies for Patients for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to primarily help children stricken with cancer.

So, partly because I've been feeling like we're bleeding ourselves dry giving and giving and giving to this school, and partly because I really did think it would be a valuable lesson for them, I convinced the kids to go around the neighborhood to solicit additional donations besides just tapping into our own piggy banks.

And to my utter shock, they agreed. Armed with only a paper bag and a flyer explaining the program, the kids climbed up the steps to the first house, rang the doorbell, and waited. I stood about 3 feet behind them, not really knowing what to expect, but admittedly not really expecting anything.

When the gentleman came to the door, Saia spoke first. Like she'd been doing this all her life, she introduced herself, said the name of her school, and proceeded to explain without hesitation or even a hint of shyness what the program was about and what she was after.

"And you're just in kindergarten?" he asked, which became a common question throughout the remainder of the afternoon, it turns out. And they both smiled proudly.

Chago held out the bag. The man went back inside briefly, returned with a baggie full of pennies, and told them they were doing a great job. They both said, "Thank you, sir." And then they turned up the street. "My turn," Chago told her. And they were off.

And I just stood there, my mouth completely agape. Tears streaming down my face. I know I must've looked totally ridiculous. But I just couldn't believe how well they did, with no coaching, with no prompting. They knew what they were doing, they knew what they wanted, and they obviously knew how to go about getting it.

Between all the spare change they collected from our little neighborhood and completely emptying out their own (and our) piggy banks, they loaded up in their backpacks a grand total of $90.63!!   IN CHANGE, mind you!!  It was pretty amazing.

And they were just so proud of themselves, and kept asking how many children this was going to help, and whether or not they had saved anyone's life.

And I'm just feeling all wrapped up in a warm blanket today. So thrilled to see optimism and idealism in action. So excited to feel hopeful in a time when hope is finally becoming tangible. This is the kind of epidemic that needs to become viral. Oh, that humanitarianism becomes the next contagion.

[Family and friends, if you'd like to see the monsters in action, I've got a video link I can share with you via email. Sorry, they share a little too much personal information to post publicly on this blog.]

2 comments:

Kim said...

I'm glad I finally got a chance to check out your blog, J. You every right to be proud of your kids. And they're beautiful, by the way.

SAIA AND CHAGO said...

Thanks so much, Kim. They've kinda grown on us, too. :P