People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do. –Dorothy Day
Over this past year, Empower Youth has witnessed so many pebbles cast into the pond of poverty… We have seen the ripple effects of a donated ranch. We have seen the ripple effects of a donated van. We have seen the ripple effects of a donated tractor. Huge splashes that at times almost drown you by the undertow.
603 bags went home last week. Along the way, some were bartered for friendship on the bus ride home, a few were confiscated by parents immediately at the door, and some were hidden in the rooms of students. Maggie’s bag was hidden in her closet under a pile of clothes. She told her teacher on Monday, she always hides it there because then when Dad leaves for work she can pull out her favorite snack and share it with her little brother. She’s in charge of him when Dad is gone. Mom has been gone a long time. Maggie’s teacher sent EY a note and asked if we would send her extra Ramen next week cause that’s her favorite. She said she makes her brother eat the vienna sausages so he will stay out of her Ramen.
We love our property. We love our van. We love the tractor. But they are all tools.
If I can’t get Maggie that extra package of Ramen, those things mean nothing. Empower Youth works because we empower teachers to build a different kind of relationship with their students. In a world where schools have had to take on the task of testing and teaching for those tests, the weekend food bags give a natural check point. The weekend food bags can make things personal and in the case of this teacher can break her heart all over again for Maggie.
This week, I’m dropping off a secret stash of Ramen.
There is so much work to do. I am thankful for the many pebbles our teachers throw in everyday. I am thankful for the many pebbles ministers, company leaders, and volunteers are throwing in everyday.
Pebbles and ripples: This past week, more than one church has stepped up their game for the children of Southern Ohio. We’ve had stockings delivered, gifts received, trees loaded with tags for donations, announcements made. One church has put their neck on the line through an entire sermon series and linked us in to their work. The work of Empower Youth couldn’t happen without this community support.
Pebbles and ripples: Company leaders as well as small business and home business owners have made sacrifices on our behalf. Some giving up time from their busy schedule so we could just come and tell our story. Other companies have paid their volunteers to help us distribute Christmas gifts and build up more weekend food bags. In a week, Multi-Color will be distributing the “Dream Big” pillows to most of our kindergarten students.
This week, cast your pebble. Watch for the splash zone.