The other day I heard on local progressive radio station KUDO about a local Middle school that had organized a food drive to provide relief for Emmonak and other villages suffering in the Yukon Delta.
I decided to swing by Hanshew Middle School on my way to work and had the good fortune to talk to the two teachers who were responsible for the food drive.
What I learned is that Sharon Herrell and Lee Butterfield were both very touched by the story they heard on KUDO, and local television station KTUU, concerning Emmonak. During a casual conversation the topic came up and they agreed that they should discuss it in their respective classrooms.
They found that the youngsters in their classes were just as concerned as they had been and wanted to know what could be done. This quickly turned into a food drive, they then reached out to Fed-Ex and were able to arrange free air delivery of their donations, and now they are planning to send it off later this week. (Now changed to next week.)
Mr. Butterfield shared with me that one young girl, who is living in near poverty in a trailer with SEVENTEEN other people, brought in three boxes of food all on her own. He said that many others had also reached deep and brought in as much as they could spare. As we were standing there talking he received another plastic grocery bag to add to the collection.
I was immediately struck by the fact that these were kids 14 and 15 years old. If there is any time in our lives when we are more ego centric and selfish I cannot imagine when that is. And yet here these kids were, unconcerned by how cool it may look, or if it would further their social status, instead they were putting the needs of others ahead of their own. It was awe inspiring.
As proud as I am of the progressive bloggers in Alaska, I am equally proud of the other generous people in our community and around the world who put their own concerns aside and reached out to help their fellow man.
It definitely gives me hope for the future of our country. And in the leaders of tomorrow.
If you would like to send donations to the Hanshew Middle School Food Drive, the address is 10121 LAKE OTIS PKWY Anchorage, Alaska 99507. Please make the donations non-perishable items so they will not go bad before they can be sent to those in need.
(I just got off of the phone with Mr. Butterfield and convinced him to extend the deadline for another week, so they will now be accepting donations until the end of next week.)
And just to end this post let me remind all of you again that this is another group of generous people who are doing for their fellow Alaskans what our Governor is too busy, too uninterested, or too ineffective to do herself. Sarah Palin created this vacuum and thankfully these children are working to help fill it.