Friday, March 11

Quote of the Day:  “Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness”.  James Thurber

I have such a great job @ Skyline because I get to rub shoulders with such amazing youth who always surprise me w/ what they have to give.  Of course, there are some students who worry way too much about getting good grades at any cost, even if it means lying and cheating, and some who care way too much about what other’s think, but then there is this group of students who get it.  They start coming to service activities and start opening up to this world that isn’t just about themselves.  They work w/ children with severe disabilities and start to get the picture that they have been given this amazing gift of a body that works wonderfully, a mind that can think, create and show passion.  They start to come to more and more activities (and really all service is not fun, and some people who run these programs are not very nice) but they come because there is something very satisfying about helping another person in need.  It fills this need of making a difference in this world and giving back that money, titles or possessions can’t buy.  And really, it puts all of us on the same level of trying to get through this world- with what we’ve been given- with the help of others.  I think that’s why so many of us love to serve the homeless.  We like to look into their eyes and give them a warm greeting, and even though we can’t take away the pain of a life that is filled w/ sorrow, loss and heartache, we can show that we care by being there.  The service rendered at Salvation Army dinner serving makes me feel closer to Christ than any other service I have done.  I’ve often marveled why that is so but I do think it is because you are relating on this level as human beings, without judgment, and really all you can do for them is serve a meal that will sustain them only until the next meal.  You’re not helping them w/ job skills or counseling but you are there sharing the pain.

So I have this dear student who started taking Community of Caring as a sophomore.  She stood out to me very soon as she would hand in her service card and she had done way over the amount of service needed for her grade.  She had come to almost every activity.  Now, usually this takes a little time for students to start to realize how much they like participating in service (and many don’t even count all the hours they serve) but Maddie understood this right away.  She is now a senior, has been on the Community of Caring board for 2 years currently serves as Co-Director over the entire program.  Also, Maddie was the first student I told about my diagnosis of cancer.  I felt bad to have to tell her, but I must have known that she had a listening heart!

Here’s a recent e-mail I received from Maddie:

Dear Joanie,

I just wanted to send a quick email to see how you are doing. I have been reading your blog and I don’t get how you can always be so optimistic and just happy about everything even when you are in a very challenging situation. How do you do it? At points in the blog you make me laugh but at other times I get a little teary eyed to hear about everything that you have to go through. You truly inspire me and make me want to be a better person. I have learned so much from you through these past couple of years and I have loved every minute of it. You truly have taught me to love serving others and I hope that it will be something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Things are going really well at school. Everyone has been working really hard and everyone loves the new sub! She has been great to work with, she is very helpful, but she definitely doesn’t replace you, and how wonderful you were at your job. I hope all is still going well for you. I continue to pray for you. We all miss you and hope the best for you!

Best wishes,

Maddie Jones

Big deal if I don’t get all the things I use to want on my goal list, I have Maddie in my life!


My dear high school friend, Annette, brought dinner including salad, bread and dessert!  Annette and I have been through a lot in our lives and she has always been a source of comfort to me!

Community of Caring Board 2010-11


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