Saturday, December 31, 2011

And This is Why 2012 is Going to Be a Better Year

Do you see this? THIS? THIS is why 2012 is going to be a better year. Because folks aren't just going to sit around and let things get worse.

Business Owner Starts School Supply Collection for Hurting District

Kids at Muskegon's Edgewood Elementary school dob't have paper, pencils, crayons...BASIC school supplies. The community is pulling together to right this make sure, from a personal level, that our kids in our community have the basics for education, with people volunteering to be art teachers, music teachers, gym teachers when the school itself can't provide these educational basics. YES...this is something the State should be taking care of. But they're not, are they? So we...WE step in today.

I drove through this part of town recently on my way to my aunt's house and counted over a dozen boarded up homes, just from the main streat. Homes with ragged blue tarps are up in place where a roof should be, where cardboard and duct tape are up where windows should be...even as the winter overtakes the region.

This is a school where 100% or NEAR 100% of the kids are on free-reduced school lunches. Parents can't send their kids to school with these supplies. The teachers have supplied all they can. The school district itself is financially on the rocks.

It's not a region that's falling. It's a region that has fallen. It does no good to shakes ones head and pretend that voting the Right People into office is going to make a damn bit of difference in the prosperity of the kids living in there RIGHT NOW, TODAY, this week, next month, next year. That's a fight for the long term.

In the short term, communities need to move in and make the change, help each other out. Get out there and make a difference, dammit.

Throughout these challenging times, many of the teachers have reached into their own pockets to provide needed school supplies at places like Edgewood Elementary, according to Principal Sonya Hernandez. Parents also struggle to send the kids to school prepared as Hernandez points out that her school is approximately 100 percent free reduced lunch.

Hernandez turned to her friend Mitch Dennison who is with the Facebook group “Muskegon Social Media Tag Team.” Hernandez expressed the needs from everything from pencils and papers to crayons and binders. Grand Haven business owner and CEO of Media 1, Chris Willis, saw the post and sprung into action.

“I said is this for real? Pencils and paper?” Willis exclaimed.

Willis put out a school supply collection box at Media 1, 605 Elliott St, Grand Haven, just before Christmas. Other businesses followed.

This can't be a short term, one time thing. We need to pull together. Maybe a good thing will come out of these hard times. Maybe communities will start seeing their interconnectedness in 2012. Maybe they'll learn to look to one another as partners and neighbors. Maybe in 2012 we'll start to realize that the good and future of our communities and children is our own personal responsibility today. Today. Today. Right now. GO! Go do something good, you!

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