I've given up on providing knives and plates and napkins; this is an eat and run environment which comes equipped with all the tools necessary to dig in and get out fast. I spend GRIN's money on the food itself and everyone is happy.
Tuesday found me at Albertsons, watching the bakery clerk fill a shopping cart with goodies.
Each and every year a young woman smiles at me from behind that same counter as she fills my basket to the brim with goodies that Vera, my favorite manager, is glad to share. Vera says it makes her happy to provide the donuts and crullers and layer cakes and muffins and cookies and chocolate fudge squares and I know that the schools are happy to receive them.
This is what I started GRIN to do - to bring together those who have with who need, to connect the generous with the wanting, to share the love. I spent all morning doing just that.
I visited nine more schools, waving to busy principals I've known for years, hugging those who were free to reminisce about their starts at Prince and Amphi, whose principal, Tassi Call, after having seeded the District with those she trained, is now in the Administration Building, sharing her knowledge with everyone.
I stopped in to see her, too. Yes, this is the 7th year I've done this project. Yes, time flies. She helped me with some business for another volunteer, and I left to finish my rounds. There was so much love to be shared.
I remember you!
Christina-Taylor's picture on the wall of the school she attended, surrounded by American flags and a bronze plaque, sparked another conversation about the little girl whose death sparked all these good deeds. I told our story to a young teacher from Utah, who was stunned to realize that everyone who walked by knew the tale. This happened to all of us had never been clearer.
Four hours later, I was home, nursing my exhausted body. Two days later I spent the morning at Prince, giving stickers to little ones who were just a little bit anxious about the first day of school. See that sticker on Mommy's shirt? She's going to miss you today, and when she does she'll rub her sticker and feel like you are with her. And that sticker on your shirt? It can do the same thing. It's like a little hug around your heart, and it helps, a lot.
And, as one Mommy added, maybe you'll be rubbing it at the exact same time that I am!
Those are the connections that make my heart sing. It's a wonderful adventure, the start of a new school year. Especially when you are greeted by this, on your classroom door: