Saturday, March 21, 2009

Are we the ones who will listen?

Hey Gang, I wouldn't normally use this blog for this.. BUT I was so moved that I just KNEW I had to do something and to be honest I trust you girlies and have great hope that you'll feel like I do.

I don't know if any of you caught ABC News's report on the Pomona, CA high school students who's teacher produced a video titled "Is anybody listening" See it here for some reason I couldn't get it to upload

It's heart breaking! And to add to the sadness I bet there are thousands of kids feeling the same way all over the country these days. I was especially touched by Chris. Maybe because he is around my oldest son's age. Or the fact that he cares so deeply for his siblings (one of whom has downs syndrome). Or that he let all the bravado of a teen aged boy drop and cried from his heart without reservation. I was touched by them all but even as I write here Chris's eyes come to mind and I still tear up.

I've been put in contact with his teacher and the school principle. I'd like to do something for this family and Mr.Steinman assures me that he'll personally make sure Chris and his family get whatever I can send them. I can't do much by myself but I think maybe if we brainstorm we might be able to do more together. Now I understand that times are hard and asking for donations is hard to. There is also that distrust that what you give will go where it is needed. I have those fears too. But I can't let the fear win this time. Oh, it helps that my brother is a police detective in CA and assures me he can check everybody out (the cynic in me lives!).

Now I don't know what I'm gonna do BUT I DO KNOW you are a creative and caring bunch and you'll give me some ideas.. right now that's all I'm asking. So let me know, what do you think? am I crazy, just a sap? Should I send a money order or things like Target cards? I plan to send a copy of the book I'm writing about saving money (think how to for a Woo Hoo box of your own).

Thanks for letting me reach out and for being the best bunch of total strangers, sitting anonymously behind computer monitors, in cities far away... that I've ever "known"!


angi_b72 said...

i am not the most creative, but you could probably get good feedback from my sister at , she is awesome about things like this .

DiPaola Momma said...

Thanks Angi.. tell her to look out for me please:-)

angi_b72 said...

I will!!

SITS Girls said...

I am totally in.... why not make it a SITS thing... could we find out how old his siblings are and their needs?


Aubrey said...

Wow. Heartbreaking to hear these stories.
I am in! Whatever you come up with, let me know. I'd love to help in any way I can!

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

Aw this is so sweet of you. I have to watch the video and I will do that sometime tomorrow. I was just popping in here for a moment before bed. I'm in - I'll think of some ideas tonight and hopefully be able to help you tomorrow.

The Rambler said...

Wow SITS ladies!!

There was a program here in Hawaii called Adopt a Teacher that I got involved in. Most teachers were purchasing school supplies with their own money. We surprised her at a school assembly and wheeled almost everything on her seat. And it was extremely humbling to see the students so excited with everything and the teacher. I cried like a baby when I went home. :)

Maybe if it does become a SITS thing we could ask the teacher for his students to list simple neccesities the kids need and post some kind of organized first 10 bloggers get stuff for this kid and and the next 10 bloggers can help with this list and so on. Or how ever it works. Sort of a Adopt A Student thing via SITS. IDK...just an idea.

GREAT idea to help DiPaolo Momma!

The Rambler said...

Eeck...sorry for all the spelling errors above.

I meant to say everything on the teacher's LIST. Not SEAT. Oops.

sandy said...

I'm in!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

I watched the video clip you linked to, Tiffany. You are right. Chris’ interview was especially touching.

I think there are several different ways that you could approach helping. Here are my suggestions:

1) Utilize a program called "Donor's Choose": My blog partner, Kacey, is a teacher and blogged about this group back in December: Basically, it is a non-profit organization that funds projects and helps teachers receive items they need for their classrooms. If Mr. Steinman were to participate in this program, not only could you send money that would be used for the items of his choosing, but you could also draw donors from outside of the blogging community.

2) Organize a donation drive on SITS: In order to rally the community of bloggers that you have created and motivate them to donate, you could write a post about Village Academy High School and create a permanent link in your sidebar to the video clip. I would suggest doing some type of “lead in” to the drive, similar to what you did for the Spring Fling. Let people know what you have planned, set a goal as to how much money you want to raise, and then run the donation drive for a week, 10 days, whatever.

3) Finally, donate the advertising proceeds from SITS: From what I understand from the SITS site, you are earning income in a couple of different ways, e.g. from sponsors and from those that participate in Chic Chicks. One idea that you could pursue would be to commit to donate all of the advertising income earned for a month directly to the families of Village Academy. Not only could you bring attention to this issue, but you might also be able to encourage more bloggers to advertise with SITS.

I have worked with families in similar, desperate economic situations to those in the video previously. The bottom line is that they need cash for food, for rent, for gas, etc. I am not sure how useful tips on how to save money or gift cards would be simply because of the gravity of the situation they are dealing with.

You have a wonderful heart. It is truly admirable that you are doing something to help. Know that you can count on all of your Welcomistas to help.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I have any great ideas - but I'm in. I'll do what I can to help - whether it's posting or donating a little.

DiPaola Momma said...

Okay gang I KNEW I could count on YOU!!! I'm going to try to get Mr. Stienman (the teacher) on the phone or put him together with SITS (Tiff, Heather what is the best way to do that?). Maybe a paypal link for $ donations and then a food stuff, clothing and/or gift card drive. If we could just help Chris and his family with one month's worth of back rent I'm SURE it would help.. then the "smaller" stuff like clothes, gift cards etc could help free up some of what they do have to ease the burden. Tomorrow is my SITS day so I'm going to try and get a post done about Chris and the school and teacher and such.. Get the word out and then see what we can do.. I HEART YOU GUYS!!!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

OK. I read and responded to this post way too early this morning. I just realized that it came from DiPaola Mama, and not Tiffany. My apologies for the misdirection.

Brandy said...

After all my CVS/Wags shopping I definitely have stuff to donate. I love this!

Noah's Mommy said...

I'm in....

DiPaola Momma said...

Hey gang.. the teacher got back to me. At this point the school (on their website) has a donations link.. BUT he has agreed to accept our donations personally. Now they are saying cash and gift cards only, mostly because the school isn't equiped to be a distribution center for goods.. I understand that. BUT the teacher is also going to see if there are any special needs for good that the family may have. I'll let you know when I hear... this is what Mr. Stienman sent me: "He represents the best of a young man, and I am proud to have him as my student.

You can help Chris and his family out by sending any donation to him through our school, and to my attention. I assure you I will personally deliver it into his hands.

Our address is Village Academy High School, 1444 E. Holt Ave., Pomona, CA 91767. Send it attention: Michael Steinman.

On behalf of Chris and all the students in my class and at Village Academy, thank you for your kind words and thoughts, and your thoughtful offering.

Michael Steinman
Village Academy High School
Pomona, CA "

I'll keep you posted.. TODAY IS CRAZY but fun trying to keep up with the kids AND my FB day on SITS.. over 400 comments so far!!!!

Ritch in Love said...

I so appreciate this post and I'm happy to help how I can!

Mamarazzi said...

i watched this story with tears in my eyes. i wish there was something i could do. our family is just really struggling right now with this economy and all. My husband is a state employee (law enforcement) and Ca just made BIG changes in their budget and cut his pay by 10% and raised the cost of medical benefits.

it is times like these, when we are feeling it too that i wish i could help the most...but there have been many times when we had an abundance and shared...we will do what we can when we can.

good luck.

Lisa M said...

I can't wait to find out what the ideas for this are.. let me know when there is something concrete.. :)