Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Paying It Forward

Have you seen stories on the News, Oprah, or Extreme Home Makeover where some group or someone decides to do something very spontaneously generous for another person? Below is a picture of a lady named Ms. Rita who did that this past Sunday right smack in the middle of Office Max, and I was the overwhelmed, blessed recipient of her goodness. Let me explain.

We were standing in a LOOOOONG line at the store. Everyone in Spartanburg was in there, and of course Ms. Rita and I got in the slow line. As I do with anyone standing near me in line, I struck up a conversation with her and another lady behind her. Ms. Rita is a grandmother and the other lady was a teacher. Since it was the day before school starting, the conversation inevitably turned towards students, supplies, budgets, etc.

During the course of the conversation Ms. Rita told me that she wished there was a way that people that are not really involved with schools anymore could know what teachers need and help them; specifically, local teachers. She didn't know it at the time, but boy was she talking to the right person. I immediately told her about the website

Donorschoose is a website where teachers from all over the country posts proposals for things they need specifically in their classrooms. Then anonymous donors from around the country can fund all or part of the proposal. It is an AMAZING site. I have received over $5,000 worth of materials over the past 5 years. I have 2 on there now waiting for donations. Go to the website and search "Dearybury" to see them. Both of them are up for matching gifts right now, so if you give 20 its really like 40...but, I digress. :0)

Anyway, after about 25 minutes in line, Ms. Rita confessed to me that she didn't know much about computers and that she could not go on there to donate, but she wanted to give me some money to help me buy supplies for my room. I immediately told her I could NOT take her money, but in her nicest Grandma voice she said, "Well you better!" She said, "You'd take it on the website wouldn't you." She had me there, of course I would and I would be ecstatic to take it there...... I instantly busted into tears. I had never had someone who was a complete stranger care so much about me and what I was doing in my classroom. She cared so much about my little kiddos and their needs. I was overwhelmed.

I won't tell you how much she gave, but I will tell you that it is gonna go a LONG way in purchasing a class set of books for my weather unit. I cannot wait to get the books and share with my kids how we got them. The neat thing is that I found a friend who knows Ms. Rita and I got her address. I cannot wait til she gets some letters in the mail from the sweet little kids she helped. She paid it forward and I am gonna do everything I can to pay it on again!

Ms. Rita, If you ever read this I hope you know how much you made my day Sunday. I will never forget your overwhelming generosity to me and my students.

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