On Being Santa…

December 19, 2007 § Leave a comment

Just a quick story to tell you about the power of the web, and of how a little recognition goes a long way. I’m probably relaying this wrong because all of my emails about it are at home, but I think you’ll get the point.

Santa visited an elementary school in San Diego this week.

A former professor of mine has a sister who works at this school.  A wonderful teacher who left a “good” school to go work with kids who didn’t have very much.  Kids who the system had let down.  Last year, she (my professor) made arrangements for the students in her class to receive gift certificates to purchase things for themselves and their family.

These are your typical “rough” students.  Their parents sometimes work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and the kids have hard lives.  Education isn’t a priority.  But the kids have been working hard and the all important test scores have risen.  Having a caring staff helps.  There has been a change in the attitude of many of the students at the school since the current administration and staff have come on board.

So this year, my professor put out a call to all of her current students and alumni to “be Santa.”  These people, all over the country (and world for that matter) put their brains together and figured out a way to gather money, get gift certificates for every student in the school, and have it delivered with only a very few people at the school knowing about it.

After all, being Santa isn’t just about giving.  It’s about giving without the need to be recognized.

I have no idea who or how many contributed.  I felt sad that I could not contribute, as all of the prep was already done by the time I received the emails (I had gotten behind in my email reading for a couple of weeks), but it’s inspired me to “be Santa” in other ways.  Ways that I don’t want or need to be recognized for.

The students at this elementary (and I’m purposely not telling you the name of the school here, because it’s just better if everyone involved knows that Santa brought the gifts) were skeptical at first, thinking that the teacher bought the gifts.  When she had them do the math (a-ha! a bit of education thrown in for good measure) they realized that there was no way she could have bought gifts for every student in the school.  One student piped up, “Maybe someone just recognized that we were working really hard.”

The kids get it.  It’s time for us as adults to step it up.  So please, be Santa for someone this holiday season.  There are so many ways to make a difference, especially with all of the technology available to us today.

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!  I’ll see you after the new year.

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