Thursday, August 2, 2012
Pack to School
For the past bunch of years, the Rotary Cub to which I belong has done a community service project where we buy backpacks for schoolchildren whose families might have difficulty affording them and we fill the backpacks with all the supplies necessary to start school. Each Rotarian is typically given 2 backpacks to fill, each with the age and gender of a specific child so that we purchase supplies that are appropriate for the person. With more than 100 packs each year, the program has been a big hit and makes a real difference for an awful lot of families.
Well, this was the week that packs were distributed to our membership; and to be totally honest, nearly all of us (we're mostly men) simply give the packs to our wives who then go out and take care of filling them. And to be even more honest, that's what I've done every year - until now. Today I decided it was time for me to play a more active role in this process and to take care of it all myself.
I was given an 8 year-old girl and a 10 year-old boy. On our school district's website, there are lists posted by grade showing the supplies that teachers recommend children come to school with on the first day. I printed the lists for 3rd and 5th grade students, and armed with my lists, headed off to Target. As every mother probably knows, and as I soon discovered, Target has a HUGE back-to-school section with everything one could possibly need for students from kindergarten to college. I bought pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, highlighters, glue sticks, index cards, spiral notebooks, pocket folders, book covers, pencil cases, post-it notes, and a looseleaf - to name just some of the items!
When I got home with all my packages, I separated them by student and then stuffed the backpacks. I'll drop them off tomorrow at our designated dropoff spot. It was actually fun to do, and I'm glad I did it myself this time rather than pawning it off to my wife. It certainly gave me a greater sense of purpose and meaning, knowing that my efforts were going to have a very direct impact on a local family.