Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From nasty to nice

In light of my horrid post yesterday about my slug of an ex-husband, that rat bastard, I am now going to spread some Christmas cheer. I hope.

I want to clarify that while I do live in the Midwest in a 'smallish' town, we still have some big city issues that arise in our schools. While we don't have to have an armed guard or drug dogs, we do have lock down procedures, drug problems, extreme poverty, middle school kids who are sexually active, and kids who have personal and family 'issues.' It's really not that uncommon to break up a fist fight between kids or have a student tell a teacher to "fuck off" and then slam out of a classroom. We have kids who are homeless, those who come from divorced families, those who have folks who are in prison and live with extended families, kids who reside in foster care, or with a friend.

Now, all that being said, I want to tell you what approximately 368 middle school kids did in the last two weeks. Over the course of 2 school weeks, the kids raised just about $1200 in CHANGE. I'll omit the details of the contest, but grades 6, 7 and 8 all competed against each other to see which grade level could raise the most money in coins only. When it was all said an done, they raised about $1200, with about 70% of that dollar figure being in pennies.

Amazing. These kids were amazing. They emptied piggy banks and change jars. They brought in left over lunch money. They brought in money found on the street, dug out of couch cushions, anywhere they could get it. And these weren't just the 'rich' or 'well off" kids doing this, but ALL the kids. I saw some kids that I know don't have a pot to pee in drop money in those jars.

And do you know why?

A kid at the high school needs a kidney transplant and is on the donor list. And he had some health complications so he missed an inordinate amount of school, his mother missed all that work while he was in the hospital, and such. The kids decided they wanted to do a community service project as a school, and decided to "help one of their own." The boy who needs a transplant has a younger sibling in the middle school, and the mom was an aide in the school system, so the students know her as well. They thought this family could use help, especially with Christmas coming, and all the driving to the special hospital (about 2 hours one way) and the money that the family spent on fuel, for missing work, for food, bills, anything.

So what I need to remember is when I want to smack these kids in their heads for being idiots, I can think they do have big hearts and they do give. I'm proud of these kids. And they deserve any accolades they receive for doing such a good thing.

Teenagers are good people, too.



Bragger said...

How sweet! One year I was working with at-risk kids, and they adopted a family for Christmas. It brought tears to my eyes to see them bring THEIR money and go shopping for that little boy. Still warms my heart.

Wiley said...

Wow, that is awesome. Well done to them!

But middle school kids who are sexually active? Homeless? On drugs?! Yikes, school has changed a lot since I was there.

Maggie said...

Bragger- isn't it amazing what our at-risk can do? what any kid can do, especially when you least expect it?!>

Wiley- they were amazing.

and ho yea times have changed- i could tell you some serious horror stories about middle school kids. but i won't. you actually might want to have kids and I certainly don't want to scare ya. ;)