Yippee, it's Thursday, time for one of my favorite events! Alphabe-Thursday is graciously hosted by Jenny Matlock every week. We were given the letters A & B to practice with for the first two weeks. Now it's time to crack those books and get serious! 2 down, only 24 to go. Make sure to stop by and visit Jenny and all this week's participants! I promise you won't be disappointed.
I've had this post floating around in my head for awhile. When I realized that this week's letter was C, it hit me. C is for Charity!
While cruising through blogland, I read Jenny Matlock's post on the homeless in our country. If you haven't read it, click here. It was such a heartfelt essay that it got me to thinking about what we see (or don't) around us every day. We are blessed to live in an area that is financially stable and comfortable, but the effects of the economy and homelessness are so prevalent that we are beginning to see and feel it's effects here as well. If you drive 30 minutes South into Austin, you will see large numbers of people sleeping rough and trying to get by from day to day, without benefit of shelter. The effects aren't quite so obvious in our little town, which makes it a bit easier to think that it isn't a problem here. But if you dig deeper, the numbers are disturbing.
Nearly 1 in three students at Georgetown High School are classified as economically disadvantaged.
There are more than 150 students at Georgetown High School identified as homeless.
45% of students in GISD qualify for free or reduced lunch.
The population of Georgetown was estimated to be 49,000 in January 2009. This is up from 28,000 (2000 census). The median household income was $59,593, compared to the national median of $60,374.
If we have this many homeless students or students identified as economically disadvantaged, what must the statistics be like in areas that have been devastated by the current economic crisis.
What can one person do to help stem this crisis? A group of student athletes at Georgetown High School decided to find out.
Eagle Locker is a student initiative started by student athletes at Georgetown High School to address the needs of homeless students in our school district. They collect donations of clothing, school supplies, personal hygiene items and money to stock the "locker". Students in need may come in and choose items that they need, totally free of charge. This movement started out slowly, but when the community saw the dedication and resolve of these kids, they got behind it in a big way.
The program received a huge boost from a former student, Mason Crosby. Mason was blessed with a phenomenal talent as a kicker. After graduating from Georgetown High School, he attended the University of Colorado and now plays for the Green Bay Packers. Mason has started a program called "Kicking for Kids", which accepts donations based on his season statistics. Donors make pledges based on his stats, and the money is donated to the Eagle Locker Program. Click here for more information on Kicking for Kids.
On a personal note, our clinic made a decision this year to forgo our annual Christmas party and donate the money to Eagle Locker. One of our Doctors graciously allowed us to use her home for a potluck dinner rather than having a big shindig at a pricey restaurant. A few days after delivering our check to the program director, I happened to be at our local Wal-Mart. And what did I spy in the checkout lane? A group of 5 or 6 football players with carts full of mittens, coats, hats, school supplies and personal care items. I'm telling you from experience, there is nothing more joyous than seeing a big, burly teenage boy scanning tiny pink mittens at Wal-mart! And grinning from ear to ear the entire time he was doing it!
To learn more about Eagle Locker, click here. This is a great project, and these kids have really put their heart and soul into making it a success. The next time you hear about rotten teenagers, send them to this link!