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Parenting Matters: It was a beautiful day
It really was. The weather was great. The people were super. The food was good (and free). The location was ideal. The donations were generous. Everyone was friendly. And the activities were everywhere. It really was a beautiful day last Saturday (Aug. 23) for the Back to School Fair.
It is an amazing thing that so many people are willing to help for a good cause. In this case, the cause was three-fold. It was certainly to get free school supplies into the hands of the children who need these items that can be very expensive. I had taken two boys to be registered in middle school the previous week and was amazed how quickly the items added up to over $450. None of that money paid for school supplies.
The second goal of the day was to let people know of the many resources available in our community. There was information about sports physicals, car seat checks, immunization information, information on dental care and speech therapy, preschools, Scouts, 4-H, the food bank, learning about math and learning to make toys from wood. There were free books for each child, free children’s haircuts and a free lunch.
The third goal was for people to have fun which included entertainment, face painting, clowns, fire trucks, punt, kick and run races and nice people everywhere. Having fun always counts.
This doesn’t just happen. This takes woman and man hours a bunch. More than 100 people from more than 25 different groups, agencies or organizations worked on getting ready for this event. Most of them would be ready to do it again. Why?
Few of them will be thanked for all they did to make this event a special day. Their primary thanks were smiles and nods from the 800-plus people who walked around this event.
We live in a special town even though it is not unique. People are generous with their money but also with their time. When they find a worthy cause, they are there to help. It is a gift from people in our town that is easy to overlook.
We read in the newspapers and see on television all the problems in our society — murders, robberies, reckless driving, child abuse. That can be very depressing. Every once in a while you hear the other side — the student of the week, an honor bestowed on a person, a marvelous performance, a generous group who helped on some project. It is refreshing.
It also is a reminder of the positive parts of our society that frequently are ignored. Instead of ignoring these wonderful acts of positive behavior, we should be celebrating them.
While an event to provide children with the supplies for school and the information on issues of importance is nice, it is easy to say, “ho hum” and move on. It isn’t a major event in our community and most people will forget about it relatively soon. But to the children who will begin school with the proper supplies or be ready to go out for cross country because they have their physical taken care of — it is a major event.
In fact for these children and their parents, no matter what the day was like, it was a significantly beautiful day.
Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. Reach Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 681-2250.