Thursday, December 2, 2010

We Were The Winners

The chairs were empty but for a few. There was no line around the raffle table. The bookstore was not teeming with people. 'Tis the season?

Yesterday Gabby handed out the first ornament of our 25 Days of Christmas. She gave it to the school librarian who stood behind the raffle table at Powell's Books. Usually we pass out the ornaments to strangers, but this was an exception. Miss Adams was thrilled.

Last night was a school fund raiser. A portion of the sell of books would go to the school by the requesting customer-parents. In the middle of the store was a seating area where elementary school students read books aloud. A raffle table was set up full of wonderful baskets donated by local businesses. Where were the parents?

We stayed at the store for well over and hour and a half roaming the aisles of our favorite store. Gabby picked out books and read them to me. We played with puppets. Sydney went off with a friend to look at books for older kids. Where were the other parents and students? Where was the show of support for the school?

I sat with my granddaughters listening to their friends read. Applause erupted each time a story was finished. One or two other adults sat down to listen. I only saw three people from the school staff in attendance. Where were the people who support these children?

We don't have much. It is a tight year in our home as it is for many people. Still I gave the girls a few dollars to purchase one raffle ticket each. Not much financial support, but I felt it important that the girls know we were supporting the school. Sydney went right for the Polar Express package hoping to get an outing for her family. Gabby went for a jewelry package hoping to win a gift for her mother.

Fewer and fewer people seem to be attending these fundraisers. I thought this was a great one since people could come in to buy books as Christmas gifts. Instead fundraisers that fill kids with pizza and make parents poor playing games are put to the forefront.

I know that working parents have trouble making it to these events, but where are the grandparents or other extended family? We can do it. Lunch with my granddaughters at school, attending their class parties and special events, picking up the girls from school, have all given me a connection with them and the people in their school. True, not all grandparents live near their grandchildren, but that shouldn't stop you, Grandparents. Ask about the fundraisers at the school. Send money to support the event. Send it in a card that lets your grandchild know that you aren't just sending care.

We didn't win anything at the raffle. We did show up to show our support. We gave out the first ornament of December. We sat and listened to delightful stories told by children learning speak before an audience. We had a great time sharing books. We were the winners last night.

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