This week my wife Jeannette went through 30 years of teaching materials and organized them by subject. Math manipulatives in the math containers, English Language Arts worksheets in the ELA containers, magnifying glasses in the science container, etc. We delivered nine big containers to New Day Youth & Family Services.
New Day is a shelter in downtown Albuquerque for unwanted children, ages nine to 18. Children are cared for by an exceptional staff and I was immediately touched by their work providing for our homeless youth.
I asked the workers, “what is one thing the children wished they had?”
One replied that beyond wanting a family to call their own, it would be a new pair of shoes. “Most of them have never had a new pair of shoes and they ask about that all the time.”
You can count on that, I thought. On my way home I immediately called my buddy, a successful business owner in Bernalillo, who said he would help me host a shoe drive in the near future. See, I had a family, a poor family, and we rarely got new shoes. They were almost always hand-me-downs or second-hand. Playing sports and playing at school, my siblings and I share this dream of getting your own pair of new shoes with these kiddos.
Every child deserves the best educational setting, facilities, teacher, and playground. But, our underprivileged, unwanted youth deserve more than that. They deserve the community to acknowledge them, and contribute to their life on a path out of poverty.
A mantra I have lived by as an educator; “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Let’s let scientists work on a vaccine, I am their biggest cheerleader that we will have one in the near future.
Let’s all pitch in to help our small business get back on their feet by spending more dollars in our local economy.
Instead of having too many opinions about things we really don’t know, let’s let our leaders lead.
And last, let US focus on the most powerful weapon we have that can change the world, OUR CHILDREN. They need us more than ever to have a bright future.
This newsletter is dedicated to my youngest grandson, Shea Elias Aho, who is 5 years old today.