Monday, October 27, 2008

ALS Foundation Fundraiser.

I have been heading up a fundraiser for the ALS Foundation at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. As you've read in past posts, one of my sweet girls just lost her dad to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease.)

This disease attacks the nervous system and can basically go one of two directions: it can reach your throat first and cause you not to be able to talk or eat, or it can attack your hands and feet and cause you not to be able to walk. Eventually, all ALS patients will have all of these systems, but it goes one of the two directions very quickly. M's dad lost his ability to talk very early on and had to communicate by writing on a dry erase board. Of course, by the end he was wheelchair bound and had almost no use of his hands, but the talking and eating was affected much quicker. It really is a horrible disease and I have to believe it is extremely difficult to watch a loved one suffer.

Anyway, to show love to M and her family and to promote awareness about the disease, my class kind of took on this project. We rewrote the words to songs to sing over the announcements, made posters advertising the fundraiser, put collection cups in each classroom, collected the money each day, and counted the money as we received it. I have to say that my students did an amazing job of talking it up on the bus and on the playground.

What was the grand total for the fundraiser?

(drum roll please)....................................................................................................................................

We raised $597!!! This money will go directly to the ALS Foundation at Johns Hopkins. In fact, I have the addressed envelope in my desk just waiting to be mailed! I have to get the check from the school and then we will be ready to go! I spent the weekend counting, rolling, and totaling all of our money so that I could announce the total today.

My kids are proud of their hard work and I'm glad that we raised so much money! I really think that teaching kids empathy is important. In fact, it's one of my favorite words and I use it often at school. In an "All About Me" world, it helps kids to get outside of their bubble and focus on the needs of someone else for a change.

What an amazing way to show love to M's family and let them know that we really are thinking about them. I'm so excited to let them know our grand total and mail the check off! I'm hoping that everything will be ready tomorrow!

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