It was with a heavy heart that our nation tried to cope with the passing of the precious children and caretakers in Connecticut. As a child care provider for the past 38 years, it was unfathomable something like this could happen! I sat and pondered what we as a nation could do to prevent that from being repeated and was overwhelmed knowing how helpless we really are! So then I looked around me at how fortunate we all are, comparatively speaking, to a great majority of families in my city alone who have little.
My daughter teaches at Hawthorne Elementary where families of so many of her little ones are struggling to make ends meet; often times, families are on the street or living out of their cars. She mentioned to me that over half of her 6 and 7 year olds come to school in long-sleeved shirts and sweatshirts — it’s cold outside! This was something I had control of and I had a vision of presenting each one of her students with a new coat. I sent out a letter to family, friends and several of the larger retailers and was overwhelmed by the response!
Friends and family from our area, from the courthouse to friends in the Silvertips organization to Nucor Steel in Seattle, and from Alaska, Connecticut, and Arizona generously contributed new coats and money to buy more coats. Mary from Marysville WalMart donated six coats — thank you! Judy from the Lynnwood Old Navy sold me a dozen vests at a generous discount — thank you! I was able to deliver 27 coats to my daughter’s class and almost enough coats for a second class. No words can ever describe the smiles and actions of those kids receiving not only a warm winter coat, but hats and gloves! Holding them close to their hearts and putting them on was very touching.
The principal, teachers and support staff at Hawthorne are dedicated, hard-working, and inspired to make a difference in this school so diverse and challenging. We may not be able to prevent horrible, senseless acts of violence being repeated, but we can cherish and care for the little ones in our community … they are our future. You, my family, friends, and friends of our community, have made a difference and for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.