Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back to School: Supplies Surprise

My sisters and I always loved getting new school supplies when we were growing up.  Heck, I still love getting them now for the afterschool clubs, tutoring, substituting, nannying, babysitting, and my own personal enjoyment.  Because we would get new crayons, colored pencils, markers, paper, and such each year, we have quite the array of supplies leftover.  Between that and the fact that we have always loved doing lots of arts and crafts outside of school, we have accumulated quite the stash of stationary supplies over the years. 
This past week, I spent most of the day Wednesday sorting through things at my mom’s in preparation for her move from the family home into a one bedroom apartment.  I have only gone through a few closets and some cupboards in what was formerly my room and more recently my youngest sister’s and my other sister’s former bedroom, and yet I have already gathered a good number of school supplies.  A friend of mine who has worked with the Boy Scouts for years told me that she knows of a school that could really use such materials.  It’s been much easier and more purposeful for me to go through the things I have at our place and sort through stuff at my mom’s knowing that these school supplies are needed and will be appreciated by kids who don’t have much. 
I have tons of arts and crafts things because one of the ways I have fun is to be creative and make things.  I also have a number of supplies since I have done afterschool clubs, tutoring, summer camps, and such, in which I needed to bring my own stuff from home.  It’s been exciting to go through and thin out my supplies keeping in mind that underprivileged students whose supply closet is sparsely stocked will be using them. 
In previous years, my husband and his coworkers have really gotten a lot out of taking part in gathering items for schools in need.  Those who delivered the supplies returned with stories of grateful teachers and elated children. 
Do you really need three boxes of crayons, markers, or colored pencils when there are many children who don’t have any even to share among their classmates at school?  What if you went through what you have and gave away anything extra?  What kind of message would that send to your spouse and children?  What would it mean to teachers and students in a school that’s just scraping by?
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