Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Musings on community (and some things for ourselves!)

As you can tell from how long it's been since I last posted, the first few weeks back at work have been very, very busy! And a little stressful with all of the snow/ice/winter weather. (check out that picture of my classroom last week five minutes after class was scheduled to start!) But I'm getting back into the groove.

Before I get into what I've been up to, I wanted to let my readers know about a fundraiser I'm doing! (My apologies to those who have seen this before!) In honor of the anniversary of the Thirty-One Gives campaign, I'm currently doing a fundraiser that benefits both University Hospital's Hanna House and Girl Talk (Through Thirty-One's charity, Thirty-One Gives).  The goal of this fundraiser is to show how every little bit helps and that, by working together, we can make a big difference!

University Hospital’s Hanna House Skilled Nursing Center, a local subacute care facility, lists nail files and chapstick as two items they are always in need of. With the purchase of each URU nail file from Thirty-One, the company makes a donation of 31 cents to Girl Talk, an international non-profit peer-to-peer mentoring program for middle school girls. 

For your donation of $2.50, you can sponsor a kit of 1 nail file and 1 tube of chapstick for Hanna House AND contribute 31 cents to Girl Talk. My goal is to raise enough for 100 kits by February 14th.You are welcome to sponsor as many kits as you’d like and donations can be made in honor of a loved one! (Makes a great Valentine’s Day gift!) Are you in? Even if all you can give is $2.50, it would still be a big help! Just let me know (you can comment here!) and I'll send you payment details. You can either send a check or send money though PayPal. 

I've bee thinking a lot about community lately. Not only this fundraiser, but on a larger scale. Last week, J and I (and my mother-in-law) went to the meeting of Greater Cleveland Congregations, which is an interfaith group that works together to take action on social justice issues. At this particular meeting, there were over 1000 people of all faiths gathered to present a list of recommendations for the Cleveland Police's Consent Decree to the Mayor and US Attorney Steve Dettelbach, and Department of Justice Civil Rights Section Chief Jonathan Smith.  It was such an amazing and moving experience and I'm so glad we were a part of it.  You can read more about it at 

I am also always amazed by the community I find in my classrooms. Today in my lowest level class, we all made valentines for each other. A little silly perhaps, but for some in this group of students, even just writing the names of their classmates is a big struggle. And it was really sweet to see them all giving each other cards, especially those who are from very different cultures.  I also made some pretty darn good red velvet cookies for them as part of our Valentine's Day celebration :)

I've been feeling very thankful for my friends recently, too. Things have been so busy lately and I tend to get tunnel vision and forget about everything other than work. Huge thanks to our friends who invited us to a basketball game this past weekend. It was so nice to catch up with them (and the seats were pretty amazing, too!) I've also had several friends really step up to help me with some things in my Thirty-One business and I am so, so grateful for their support. 

And, finally, on a more selfish note - J and I had our first meeting with a home organizer this past weekend! It's a bit of a leap of faith (especially as she does things like rearrange our furniture - neither one of us is that good with change ;)  ), but we're hoping for good results. We've got some homework from our first meeting and when we finish that, she'll come back to help us organize our storage room. That will be a difficult task for sure, but I'm really excited about the possibilities.  Now I just need to work on my own issues with letting go of stuff! Anyone have any good advice?

and I'll leave you with this image in honor of Valentine's Day (and because we used conversation hearts as bingo chips in my classes today!)

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