As I was looking about for good people tonight, I came across a story about a teacher going the extra mile to stay in touch with her students, and I thought about one of my own blogging buddies, Jennie. Jennie is a teacher in New England and I’ve always admired the extra effort she puts into teaching her students, helping them learn an appreciation of reading at an early age, doing fun things with them to keep them interested. She gives so much of herself every day, but since the schools have been shut down, she has really dedicated herself to her students, to ensuring they still get their daily dose of reading and that they don’t feel alone. I would like to ask you to take just a minute to visit her at A Teacher’s Reflections, read how she’s helping her young students get through the isolation, and if you feel so inclined, leave her a word of appreciation or encouragement.
And speaking of teachers …
Zane Powless is an assistant head teacher at Western Primary School in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. Every day, Mr. Powless hauls huge rucksacks filled with packed school meals that weigh more than 40 pounds, plus homework for at least 78 students over a distance of some five miles! (Heck, I can barely carry a grocery bag weighing maybe 20 pounds from my van into my house!)
“I am doing this so that the children and their parents don’t have to come out to collect their meals. Otherwise they would be passing other people in the street and it makes sure they get at least one good meal a day.”
Other staff are delivering food by car to those who live further away from the school.
“It’s a big team effort for sure. I look like I’m doing the donkey work, but it really isn’t just me, the other teachers also drive to deliver meals to children who live further away, we call the families up every week to make sure they’re doing okay, we prepare and pack the lunches together every single day.”
Zane, who was part of the Grenadier Guards, also uses his daily lunch run to check on the welfare of the children he visits. He puts the packed lunch on the doorstep, knocks on the door and then waits on the pavement or in the garden until they are picked up.
“I’ll wait for them to come to the door and sometimes have a quick peek inside just to make sure everything is in order and the children are okay. I think it also gives them a sense of normalcy to see me every day. Of course, normal for them is coming to school every day, seeing me and their friends and other teachers – so having me come to see them might be reassuring.”
The town, Grimsby, has a 34% poverty rate, so for some of these kids, it might well be the only healthy meal they get in a day. Mr. Powless certainly ranks as a ‘good people’ in my book.
Earlham, Iowa … population 1,417 is located mostly in the middle of nowhere, and covers 621 acres. But this week, Earlham was more than a blip on the map when an anonymous donor took note of the town.
Jeff Lillie is the Mayor of Earlham, and one day he received a call from a friend, saying that there was a donor interested in interjecting money into the town’s economy. At first, the donor, who did not reveal their identity to the mayor, said they would buy 100 gift cards from three local businesses. An hour later, his friend called Lillie again and said the donor was bumping the number up to 250. An hour after that, the number was raised to 500.
“I said to him, at 500, you’re darn near giving a gift card to every single household in Earlham. When I told him there were 549 households in town, he said ‘Done.’ And that was it. I was ecstatic because it made sure everyone would get a card.”
The donor surprised the town by purchasing 549 gift cards from each of three local businesses: West Side Bar and Grille, Hometown Market, a grocery store, and Trostel’s Broken Branch, a restaurant and coffee shop.
In total, they donated $82,350.
“It came at the end of a couple really hard weeks. I remember going home and walking through the front door, and I couldn’t speak for a minute. I was just crying like a baby, and my little boy saw me and wrapped around my leg and said, ‘Daddy what’s wrong?’ And eventually I was able to choke it out: ‘Buddy, right now, for once, nothing’s wrong’.”
Jennifer Trostel, whose husband owns Trostel’s Broken Branch, was shocked when Lillie called and told the restaurant to have 549 gift cards ready. The restaurant is so new they didn’t have gift certificates yet – Trostel had to buy them on Amazon.
“You couldn’t even believe what was happening. You were so grateful you started to cry. You couldn’t believe that people would actually want to help you in such a huge way that you can’t even fathom that kind of help.”
As Mayor Lillie said …
“Nobody has a lot to smile about the last few weeks, and this is definitely something to smile about. There’s a lot of families that $150 isn’t going to be a game changer, but it’s still something to make you feel good that there’s good people in the world that are doing good things. It gives you some hope.”
Abandoned baby adopted …
I’ve always applauded those who would take a child who wasn’t their own and raise it just as if it were. So, I cannot help but applaud this mom, who wishes to remain anonymous, who adopted a baby of a very different sort …
Oh, did I happen to mention that the mom is a cat and the baby is an opossum? The cat had recently given birth to a litter of kittens, when one day the cat’s human family found a lone baby opossum on their deck. So, the mother cat took the possum in as one of her own.She just doesn’t understand why this odd-looking kitten insists on hanging on her all the time.Who said that the only ‘good people’ are the ones that walk on two legs?
I hope you found something to brighten your world here and remember to do what you can in these trying times to be a good people to someone else. It’s the little things that count.