A Great Lesson: It just takes one…

Josh2Our oldest son, Joshua, attends a specialized school for children with severe disabilities. We chose this school because it offers a protected environment necessary for his fragile health. In addition, he has access to professionals who help him learn how to use adaptive technologies for mobility and speech. This has been a tremendous facility for Joshua and his peers to grow and achieve a high quality of life.

The one thing, though, about attending this school, which partners with the local children’s treatment center, is that there is a great need for funding. The assistive communications devices, mobility and seating equipment, Smart boards, sensory feedback materials, and adaptive teaching aids are all required to assist the students. And as you can imagine, this is all tremendously expensive. As a result, there is a lot of fundraising that goes on and the community has been generous in response.

But over the last couple of years we’ve seen a shift, largely driven by Joshua’s teacher—Mrs. Carpenter. This lovely woman was “borrowed” from the public school board for a short-term contract. When she came, she brought her wonderful attitude. Her main lesson was that it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has the ability to look outward and help those in need.

During her short stay, Mrs. Carpenter and her class arranged many community projects which included:

  • Collecting cereal for the Downtown Mission
  • Created and sold greeting cards for the Healing Garden in memory of students who passed away
  • Distributed and collected post cards for Veterans residing in local facility
  • Project Shoebox at Christmas for the Samaritan’s Purse
  • Read to Feed – Reading to buy chickens for the Heifer Foundation
  • Hospital Goodie bags for kids waiting in the Emergency Room
  • Soup Drive for a local food bank
  • Penny Drive for the United Nations World Food Program
  • …And many more!

It was such a blessing to be part of the energy and projects to help the school give back to the community (and the world!) who has been so generous to the students.

Mrs. Carpenter had many motivational signs posted around her room. The one that stuck out in my mind the most was simple, yet profound and it reflected this teacher’s approach to life:

“If you can’t feed the world, then just feed one. – Mother Teresa”

Now that this teacher has retired, I hope we can all remember what she often said—it just takes one to change the world.

Cherie Gagnon– Cherie

What lesson do you remember learning that was not from a book?

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8 responses to “A Great Lesson: It just takes one…”

  1. Sara Meisinger says :

    Wonderful reminder that we can all do something to help others, no matter what limits us. Love this picture of Joshua! Handsome young man!

  2. Alexandria says :

    Fantastic article Cherie! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Susan Mires says :

    Mrs. Carpenter sounds like a neat woman and her lessons will live on for a long time.

  4. Ian says :

    Great reminder we can all do something to help as we can all help at least one. Mrs Carpenter sounds pretty cool.

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