Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Help-a-thon Day

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 278: Today, I am grateful giving is more than an act... it can be a wonderful educational community experience.

Today is one of my three favorite days at school. Today is our Help-a-thon!  It is the fourth one and it is my fifth school year.

My first year, the kids sold candy. Lovely candy, but that was all it was. A candy sale doesn't really save lives, but it does fund PTO's generous actions that help our schools so much.

Our fearless leader is one to offer up the idea of "what could we do differently?". I am not sure of the path the idea took... but by the next year... we had a "MJHS Help-a-thon".  

Like a walk-a-thon or a jump-a-thon... or any other "a-thon", pledges are made and you walk, run, jump or whatever. Cash or checks. No calories. No over-head or prizes. Simply giving to support a cause, but that is where it turns brilliant.

What if we could take our kids into  their home community for service experiences?  Now, some kids have grown up with service from the time they could pack a "school kit" or push a wheel chair.  Others, have not had the same opportunities.  And, some students even receive community services. Need happens in every community. Every student, after pledges are collected, is taken into the community to actually "help" someone. Yes, the entire Jr. High will be helping others today. It gives me chills! It gets me pumped. It makes me grateful. 

There are creative was to serve. Some will wash our service vehicles like police cars and firetrucks. Others, will clean in the yards of nursing homes and other will play games with residents. Other groups will wash windows at places like our library or help with downtown winter weatherization.  A delegation will work at our local food bank. You will see navy t-shirts all over town today. 

Some might question the couple of hours out of the classroom this morning, but the truth is... it is one of the MOST educational experiences our youth will have this year. They will see real people at work. Real jobs they can consider pursuing. They will see real people in need. They will realized that giving and helping is an Adrenalin rush like few things I know. Positive energy will vibrate. Our staff is amazing in their leadership in the efforts.  We love Help-a-thon!  

Thanks to all who have given.  A special thanks to the local businesses who sponsored the t-shirts.  Every student, no matter what they bring in to the Help-a-thon gets a t-shirt. We are a family at the junior high. So...follow me on this one more time. I am getting excited. 

Help-a-thon in a nutshell. 
Students collected pledges...straight and simple donations from family and friends or neighbors. 
Students share that they are going to service as a thank you for their pledges. 
Students and staff go out and serve in the community for a few hours. Everyone!
Students who collect over $200 get to participate in a SECOND day of service at some special places.

The PTO is fully funded for the years activities and special projects.
The kids experience true service in our local community.
Everyone gets a super cool t-shirt designed by graphic designer, Andy Pfeifer.
We build relationships with our students and our community. 

A percentage actually goes to help some local agencies that serve youth. 
Wow! Right?  

And... no one gains a pound from a Help-a-thon!

If you see them volunteering this beautiful October Morning...let them know your believe in their efforts. Give them a smile or a hand and say, "It's a great day to be a Junior Potter!" They will smile back at you. I promise... because it is a great day.  

Today, I am grateful giving is more than an act... it can be a wonderful educational community experience.

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