Friday, November 22, 2013

Feel Good Charity fight

I was watching a TV show a couple months ago and there was a line in it that has really stuck with me.  It is pretty strange because it is about dog poop.  You see, there is this lady cop, talking to a bad guy and the bad guy thinks he's 'all that'.  You know, super important, causing all kinds of trouble and the lady cop says to him, that for now, he is really important and she is spending all her time worrying over him.  But just like a walk in the park when everything is going along great and you step in dog poop and for that brief moment in time, you life is all concerned about that dog poop and how you are going to get it off your shoe and you are so concerned about the poop, but by the evening you completely forgot you stepped in it, she will go on with her life and forget all about him and so will the rest of society.  He really isn't all that important. 

Sometimes I get so worked up about the little things and I remember the dog poop.  In the big scheme of life, I step in a lot of dog poop and get too worked up about it.  In a week, or a month or a year, is it really going to matter?

Yesterday I stepped in a big pile of poop.

Right now we are working to collect stuffed animals and toys and I'm bringing in a bunch of quilts to send to the Philippines.  The kids of National Honor Society have been working really hard to get the kids at the high school excited about this and have worked to help make the quilts.  Yesterday one of my students came in and said her teacher told her that we shouldn't be sending things to help the kids of the Philippines because it was only 'feel good charity' and it wouldn't help the people there.  He told his classes not to bring any toys or stuffed animals.  What?  I was shocked and almost cried in front of my class.

I held it together and wrote a nice email asking him if this was true.

He wrote a reply saying it was part of a lesson in economics (in his history class).  I asked to see the article he passed out which he sent me which said not to send things to people who had to way of distributing them and to send all your money to the Red Cross.

I asked why he hadn't asked me about our project before telling his classes not to help out because I had researched and found an organization (Project Pearls) that was asking for items and had a way of distributing them and that the Red Cross actually takes a large portion of money off the top.  (They have not even given out all the money that was donated for Superstorm Sandy yet and that was over a year ago.)

We had an email battle back and forth yesterday and he would not back down from his position that giving kids toys and quilts was not going to help them in the long run.  He had not done any research before making this decision and was fine with sabotaging our efforts to help the hurting children.

I went to the principal who tried to defend his position.  I'm trying to decide if I should file a formal grievance.

I am still trying to wipe the poop off my shoe and move on with my efforts to help hurting children.  It's what I do.  We will be boxing up the toys and quilts today and I'm looking forward to getting pictures of them in the hands of the kids.  For those children, I know they will feel the love that went into the efforts.  For the kids who did particpate, I know they will feel like they made a difference.


Quiltingranny said...

He really needs to review what the Red Cross does with their money. Very little anymore with the exception of padding their own pockets. Those quilts will keep those kids warm and comforted. I would ask his economics students to look up and do a paper on the various charities whose CEO's make more money than what they give out and challenge him. Perhaps a debate in front of the entire school. This man is arrogant!

Merry Dickerson said...

Mrs Lewis, whichever teacher he is, he does NOT know the Filipino culture. These are a people who routinely send large boxes of goods and stipends to family members,many of whom already live in very poor circumstances. I picture someone passing on one of these quilts one day and telling their grandchild how they got it and how much it meant to them. I am offended that any person used their position to send a negative message to students who ought to be presented the option, given the pros and cons and then be allowed to choose for themselves. Personally, I never give to the RC for the reasons you stated. I suggest a grievance with the union, though I'm not sure how far that would go, but know that this family supports your efforts and those of your students. When we lift up just one person, we raise the world that much higher And if you need any quilting material donations, let me know, I have a closet full!

marilyn said...

I hope Merry comes back to see this, she is a no reply blogger:

Thanks Merry for leaving a comment. Unfortunatly we both got reprimanded by the principal, me for quoting back to him that he said that it was hurting the people to give them things. Weird, but I'm going to just let it die. He worked in the peace corps for 3 years and has just recently returned to the states.

I'm happy to know we are making a difference in the lives of the kids who are receiving the toys and quilts and that those kids will have better lives because of the kids here who, despite the efforts of one, stepped up and brought in things anyways.

If you want to send quilt tops, I'd be happy to quilt them up and get them on their way. We will be sending another shipment before the year is out. DId you see my next post :) I have a lot of fabric and wish I had several more hours in the day to work through it. My good friend just gave me half her stash. She has arthritis and can't sew very much any more. I need more quilting elves. I think I had better teach more kids to sew and quickly. I'm about to get buried in fabric!

YOu made my day better.