Many of us will make New Year's Resolutions of a personal nature, such as lose weight, save money, start a family or continue educational goals. I wish you perseverance and success in whatever you endeavor to achieve and, above all, I wish you PEACE of mind and PEACE in your heart.
My personal New Year's resolution is to continue the process of living a more 'organic' life when it comes to family food preparation.
I do have a wish that involves getting more people involved in helping each other rather than helping themselves. As stated in an earlier post regarding the 99ers (those who have lost their unemployment benefits after 99 grueling weeks of searching for non-existent jobs), it is my hope that those of us who can help someone will gladly do so.
If you are in the business of hiring or finding someone employment, please go to HelpThe99ers.com and see if you can help these families get back on their feet. If you can help someone with an immediate need, do not be shy! help is needed and much appreciated. Simply connect with a 99er on the forum and reach out!
For those needing other ideas, let me tell you that all you have to do is step out of your front door and see the need in every community for volunteers who will help gather non-perishable goods and deliver to soup kitchens and food pantries.
Step out a bit further and sign up as a volunteer to help teachers in the over crowded classrooms. The job of making copies, gathering materials or shopping for classroom supplies allows the teachers to do what they were hired to do: Teach!.
Teachers are wearing too many hats as unlicensed counselors, surrogate parental figures, shopping assistants, secretary and receptionist at the same time. That is definitely not in their job description and yet, we expect them to be more every single year while using them as scape goats for a deteriorating school system they did not create.
The schools are usually glad to get other adults help children read at grade level or doing one-on-one Math to help them become proficient in subjects in which they feel lost because they require a little bit more time without distractions to understand the concepts.
If you choose to be a mentor, Thank YOU! for helping a child, a community and, by extension, our country.
For those who would say: "That's the school's job", I would like you to take a step back and take a look at the conditions of the schools.
It is against the law to turn children away because they are bursting at the seams. They must be able to squeeze as many kids into crowded classrooms as possible. Period. Let the teachers deal with it!
Some of these kids sit on the floor because there are not enough desks available, yes! this happens in the United States and not far from my front door, in a middle class community with too many homes and not enough schools.
One of our teachers in Middle school purchased several desks out of his own money to make sure less kids would be sitting on the floor.
Several teachers I know allocate part of their salary to purchase school supplies because parents can't afford to send $25 - $50 a year to cover costs or think "that's the school's problem".
When we have a classroom with 40 kids and 20 of them show up without a pencil, notepad or glue sticks, the teacher knows they have to supply what is needed or the kids will fail to learn.
We seem to forget that teachers have bills due, mortgages, kids of their own and elderly parents to help and support. I don't know a single teacher that does not have a Staples or Office Depot account and I assure you, it has nothing to do with their own needs, but those of your kids and mine.
Once upon a time I thought I help out at the school for a month or so and ended up staying for a decade. I know these hard working Americans and I have to tell you, some are Republican, Democrat, Jewish, Catholic, etc, and it does not matter one iota.
They all share the same frustrations and relentless dedication to our children. I have seen them struggle daily attempting to keep every child in their room from falling through the cracks. Their sheer determination is impressive.
Someone once said: "Helping others is a very selfish endeavor".
I hope we all decide to be selfish in 2011.
What is your New Year's Resolution?