Thursday, December 18, 2008

How do you make a difference? Chew gum, slouch and give.

One evening last week while Kim, Dwight and I we were watching Spiderman 3, a line in the movie caught my attention. A comment is made by a man (apparently Stan Lee, Spider-Man comics writer himself) walking through Times Square. As he walks past Peter Parker he pats him on the shoulder and says, “You know, I guess one person really can make a difference…” Yes, one person can. But when you get more than one person trying to make a difference, the results can be amazing!

I have a true story for you:

In October, I got an email regarding Christmas. I know, I know. Christmas starts earlier every year! Can’t say I mind that at all since I love Christmas, but back to the story.

The email was from a friend, Kelly Maxwell, who teaches 2nd Grade at Thorsby Elementary School. She said that her school wanted to be involved in a project like fundraising for desks for the mission school (the fundraiser was later named Dollars for Desks). Last Christmas, people had donated toward this project, but we still needed more desks.

Mucombeze Interior Primary School

I told her we could use about 20 more desks, and she said that the school felt they could fundraise for about two of those. Were they in for a big surprise!

During the first month, things went better than expected.

Oct 29
“Hi Lynn,
We just had our first assembly with the students to share with them the idea of raising money to buy desks for your school. I found pictures on your blog (they especially liked the animal pictures) and hopefully will be inspired to do more for others this season. I'll let you know how things go. The final total will be made on Dec 12.”

Nov 25
“Well, the message that I was able to get across has been received very well! There are at least 4 classes that are challenging themselves to raise enough for one desk each!”

Then, things got real crazy…and amazing:

Dec 12
“…I work at the best school anywhere! The kids, staff, parents and community really got behind this project and blew all of our expectations out of the water. These pictures are showing what the kids did to raise money from wearing their hoodie, chewing gum
to sitting with a friend in class, slouching in their seat, selling used toys and books,

buying popcorn, collecting recycling

doing chores at home and donating what they are paid, and just plain generous giving.

There is also a picture of the bulletin board display that was right by the office that everyone came and looked at.

I made a scroll and put a picture on for each desk that we raised money for. The kids counted and counted and as the number got bigger they got louder. The final total was 21 desks!!!!

We have never seen anything like this before! The final amount collected was $3747.50!!

SAM Ministries' vice-President, Bill Green (far left) holds his end of the scroll.

SAM Ministries' President, Arthur Lagore (Dwight's dad), receives the donation at the school. 

What a wonderful Christmas story! I liked the part where the kids paid to do fun stuff in class. I wished I’d had such open-minded teachers like that when I was growing up! But mostly I liked the fact that the kids did what they could: they got involved and they gave.

Thorsby Elementary School

This event even made its way into the local newspaper. You can read the article by clicking here.

Some highlights of the week:

Yesterday the mission held its annual orphan children’s Christmas dinner/party, which was great fun. I’ll blog about it next week.

Kim completed her 5 month term as a volunteer here last week, so we got together for her farewell meal before taking her to Beira to jet back to the North Pole (aka Canada) in time for Christmas. Thanks for coming Kim.

Some things that didn’t happen last week:

My tree didn’t get put up and my Christmas baking didn’t get done. I have a sneaking suspicion that the line, “one person really can make a difference” applies here too, and that one person is me. I don't think chewing gum and slouching will cut it either, so I'd better get cracking. Christmas time's coming!


Karen said...

What a great story. I loved it because: it happened in a small town not far from my Alberta roots, they used creative ways in supplying funds for items school kids could relate to, it always moves my heart to hear the wonderful things God provides for your Mission. Thanks for letting the tree and the baking wait to sit down and write this. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Amanda said...

Wow, that's so awesome (the desks)!! Grandpa mentioned it to us, but I didn't realise it was such a big thing. That's so neat.