When I was a little girl, I used to ask my mother if Christmas would ever be cancelled. She laughed and asked me how I came up with such kooky questions. (I had a great imagination!) My mother is long gone these 18 years, but I am sure she would not have liked the thousands of cancellations happening at Christmas this year. On my personal calendar, I have fun event after fun event all struck through with a line of cancellation. Like many others, I have never had less to do! During the Christmas season, I usually have so many events that I sometimes must take a nap. Not this year. My good friend and neighbor has cancelled her Christmas Eve family gathering. Some family members have/had COVID, and others have been exposed. My service to the church choir will not be needed this evening, as we have not been singing nor have we been in church since March 12. Consequently, Barb and I are having Christmas Eve dinner together, and for that, I am grateful.
This year of COVID has taught us many lessons, both pleasant and unpleasant. I want to focus on just one topic - Hunger. When Americans watch the news and see many food distributions that are happening nationwide, they are seeing the face of hunger. For many in the long car caravans, this pandemic has forced them, for the first time, to ask for a handout. Watching the tear-filled interviews, viewers find that many of the people in line are the same people who have been supporting their local food banks for years, and now they find themselves on the other side. having to ask for support. Here in Pittsburgh, KDKA TV and radio have collecting money for their THANKS FOR GIVING campaign for many years. I believe strongly in this charity, and I have never missed giving in over 40 years. I find it remarkable, that during the year of pandemic when the bottom has fallen out of the worldwide economy, the amount of money collected has broken all records - over $855,000 ! PNC sponsored a matching funds program - if you donated $50 at a PNC branch, they would match the donation. Many businesses and groups around Pittsburgh collected, and Wexford Elementary School had the largest donation of $47,488! Many hungry families are being fed from Thanksgiving to Christmas because of this community charity. Here is a link to the story https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/11/25/kdka-tv-turkey-fund-record-breaking-donation-total/
In a year where nothing was as it should be, some good things happened. People recognized the needs of others, and they stepped up. Although our collective Christmases will not be like those we have known so well, it is heartening to know that "Christmas is a reminder for all of us, that there is something else besides ourselves that we need to care about."
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be safe, be kind, and believe in the goodness of others.
Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at email@example.com The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
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