Monday, August 20, 2012

A Great American Grandma

Meet Candie (name changed for privacy), a fine upstanding member of society. She is one of those people that I am proud to say I know. This is a tribute to her.

Candie is a grandma. She has some grand kids that mean the world to her. She volunteers at their school all the time. Last year, she started volunteering at another elementary school during the summer lunch program. This is how I met her. She volunteers a couple times a week, serving lunch to kids through the summer lunch program. Every summer, she goes out and buys up the supplies for 2 students - unknown to her. She buys backpacks, calculators, paper, pencils - everything that is on the school supply list. She doesn't buy the cheap stuff, either - the supply list called for a "simple calculator" for a fifth grader, and she could have bought a cheapo calculator for $3. Instead, she spent $11.95 on a calculator she knew would be good. This year, she also bought some copy paper for her grandkids' elementary school, because they always run out. The total cost for her generosity: $200. When I asked her about it, she replied, "There is such a need. And I can do it. As long as I can do it, I will."

I thought she was talking about money when she said that, and I was inspired by this sweet, stylish grandma. I found out today that she just found out she has breast cancer. She starts treatment right away. So she wasn't talking about money when she said "as long as I can do it, I will," - she was talking about ability.

Candie, I will be praying for you during this new chapter of your life. Just know that in the short time I have known you, you have impacted me with your selflessness, generosity and dedication to the children of America. You are a truly great American, and I'm proud to say that I know you! You don't simply expect others to do a great work - you get in and do it yourself!

Readers, I encourage you to let Candie inspire you to do good somewhere in your community - volunteer at a school, donate school supplies to a child in need (contact the school counselor for ideas), or make dinner for a family in need. Change can come to your community - we don't need new policies, laws or speeches - the great Americans among us (like Candie) are planting the seeds of change close to you, and simply need someone (like you) to help water them.

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