The past two weeks at school, we have had a food drive, pitting homeroom against homeroom. Usually people who do not have homerooms just don’t get to participate in these sorts of things, but I want to be part of the overall school environment, so I got permission to bring in cans as well. Some of our homerooms are . . . more able to give food than others, and I opted to partner with one of the homerooms who needed a little bit of assistance. We talked recently at church about giving and my friend Nancy shared a story about her own school and her students giving out of what (little) they have. So I thought I would believe that for my students, too, on a smaller scale.

Last week, the teacher, my assistant, and I were the only ones who brought in cans for that class. We talked it up, the competition, which seemed to make them think they had a chance. This week the cans started to trickle in, and soon our box was overflowing. Most of the cans were from the adults, but in the end, “my” homeroom collected 90 cans. I was extremely proud of them, but I thought there was no way that it could be enough. I was wrong. We weren’t the overall school winners, but we did win for our grade level. The kids will get a party next week. I won’t get to go because I will be teaching. Don’t feel bad for me, though. I got my reward at dismissal today when one of them ran up to me and said, “Did you hear that we won?” with the most excited look in her eyes.

I spent a fair amount of money on cans the past two weeks. Oh, sure, it was a worthy cause, and it selfishly made me feel pretty good about myself to help out some kids who wouldn’t necessarily believe in their own abilities to give. To bring them some Christmas cheer by helping to earn them a party. Yesterday morning when I was visiting the homeroom to pep them up for the last day of the food drive, I watched a few of them balance cans onto our overflowing pile. I might have helped them get some popcorn, but they were the ones bringing the Christmas cheer. It turns out that I was the one who really needed it.

(Linking up with the Loads of Hope for the Holidays.)

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