I consider myself lucky. No, I have never won the lottery, or a big prize in a raffle drawing. I have a different kind of luck. I am lucky to call myself a mother, wife, daughter, and friend. I am lucky to wake up every morning to go to a “job” that I love. I am a teacher, and I wear that hat proudly.
I have always tried to motivate my “kiddos” to dream big and reach high. I love to watch the curiosity and desire to learn grow inside each student. It is a joy to help each child learn to read, write, add, and subtract. Yes, I hope my students look back and remember me as a teacher who challenged each one to exceed academic expectations and value education. But, more importantly, I want my students to look back and remember that I encouraged them to be good people.
Teaching is so much more than teaching the ABC’s and 123’s. I am lucky to work with a group of students that understand the importance of giving. Our “Baby Bundles” project was inspired by a group of very caring third graders.
This holiday season, my third graders had visions of toys dancing in their heads. They were making their lists, and checking them twice. Cookies were being baked, and stockings were being hung. We all felt lucky.
We discussed the fact that the holidays can be a difficult time for some parents that are struggling to provide the very basic needs for their children. The children decided to collect diapers, baby bottles, pacifiers, and onesies to donate to needy newborns. We even painted a heart handprint on each onesie. It made us all smile to think that precious newborns would soon be wearing one of our “one of a kind onesies”. Onesies made from love and friendship. Each bag was decorated, and carefully packed with baby necessities. We were able to share our luck, and somehow, we felt even luckier than before.
When Coleen reached out to me, the bundles were already completed. She told me all about her student’s project and the gifts they had put together for newborns in need during the holiday season. As the Community Impact Coordinator, I had an agency in mind right away that would benefit from this donation.
I was so touched when the bundles were dropped off. These hand-painted onsies and crayon-decorated bags were truly remarkable. I could see the love and heart that the third graders had put into each and every one. We were lucky to receive such a thoughtful donation.
We brought the baby bundles to Child, Home and Community in Doylestown to benefit young parents who were struggling through the holidays. We also brought the kids at Quarry Hill Elementary United Way Thank You Bears and told them all about the young families that they had helped with their gifts. They loved hearing about those they were helping, and were happy we took time out of our day to tell them about it.
Thanks to the success of the project, another class at Quarry Hill Elementary is following in their footsteps. They are collecting dental hygiene products this month and we have a perfect agency for them as well!
If you have a similar project in mind, Danielle can be reached through email at email@example.com or on the phone at 215-949-1660 ext. 112.
About the Contributor: Coleen Jones is a third grade teacher at Quarry Hill Elementary in Yardley, PA. She grew up in Bucks County, and resides in Lower Makefield Township. She has been married to her husband, Chris, for 15 years, and has two precious daughters named Kelsey and Keira. She also shares her home with an adorable, orange, tabby cat named Cheddar. Coleen loves to read, craft, shop, and spend the summers at the beach.