Project Give — The Power of Writing
Writing is powerful. I know this firsthand. I’ve spent every night for the past few weeks admiring the writing of your students. In an earlier post, "Project Give — Writing for a Cause," I invited teachers around the world to take part in a special Thanksgiving tradition I call Project Give. The response was incredible. With your efforts, I received 2,645 handwritten cards, created to send messages of love to homebound seniors. I read every single card and was overwhelmed by the kind words, funny jokes, beautiful artwork, and uplifting messages written by children so young. Take a look for yourself with the slide show of Project Give’s delivery of handwritten cards to seniors in New York City.
Writing From Around the World
As soon as the "Writing for a Cause" post went up, teachers were inspired to get their kids writing. An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant flew out of my office, and throughout my school, there was a buzz about getting cards created. I can imagine that the same type of excitement was going on in schools all around the world. Each day brought new packages, until I could no longer see my bedroom floor!
A local newspaper, the Queens Tribune, contacted me and asked about this special project. They interviewed me and wrote up an article titled "Creating a Reason to Be Thankful," inviting people to get involved. Word was getting around!
In just a few weeks we collected a total of 2,645 cards. Amazing!
Spreading Joy Around the City
What a great experience! Special thanks to Project Find. They’ve provided services to seniors in New York City for the past 41 years. I would especially like to thank Debra Escort of Project Find for allowing me to add to the craziness of feeding hundreds and hundreds of seniors by accepting our handmade cards. She is one special lady. When I told her how many cards we collected, she almost fainted! She suggested that I contact two other senior centers to see if they would accept some of the cards. And that’s just what I did.
I was able to deliver 350 cards to Project Find’s Woodstock House and 350 cards to Project Find’s Hamilton House a few nights before Thanksgiving. Although the coordinator, Antonio, was supposed to go home at 6:00 on Tuesday evening, he waited for me at his office for an hour while I made my way through a tremendous amount of New York City traffic. He graciously accepted 700 cards for both locations.
The night before Thanksgiving, we still had a few cards to spare, and I decided to contact Betsy Lazarus, the director of therapeutic recreation for the seniors at the Regal Heights Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Jackson Heights, New York. My students have worked with the seniors who live there on special projects over the years, so I called up Betsy and asked her how many seniors would be celebrating Thanksgiving at the center this year. A few hours later, 250 cards were delivered.
With 1,695 cards remaining, I headed out to Manhattan with my good friends Maritza and Joanna. I couldn’t do any of this alone! We made it to the Church of St. Paul the Apostle where volunteers were cooking, setting up tables, and getting homebound meals ready for delivery. Together we stuffed hundreds and hundreds of bags with your unique and special cards.
With my car loaded and ready to go, we headed out to make our deliveries.
Because of your efforts, seniors across New York City received messages of love and hope this Thanksgiving. Thank you for making this possible.
Project Give Slide Show — Share It With Your Students!
I really enjoyed reading each and every card. I managed to take a few pictures from each package as they arrived. Please take a look at this slide show and enjoy the beautiful artwork and caring words that were written by people of all ages, across the United States and around the world. You just might recognize your own work here! I hope to reach out to all of you again next year. ;)
I am so thankful for the families, teachers of children from preschool to high school, homeschool moms, literacy specialists, Girl Scout troop leaders, speech and language pathologists, life skills teachers, Spanish teachers, Top Teachers, and those of you who sent cards anonymously, for taking the time to become a part of Project Give. Thank you for inspiring the people in your lives to reach out to others and to write for a cause this Thanksgiving.
Note: My apologies in advance for any misspellings or omissions in the list below! I would never want to leave anyone out. It is my intention to respectfully thank everyone involved!
Extra Special Thanks To . . .
Stephanie Caldon and the students of P.S. 38, Rosedale, New York
Julia and Kathy De Rosa, Manhasset, New York
Eve Ottavino and the students of P.S. 39, Brooklyn, New York
Miss Sanchi and the students of P.S. 86Q, Jamaica, New York
Mrs. Gandler’s 5th Grade Class, Munsey Park Elementary School, Manhasset, New York
The Fournaris Family, Manhasset, NY 11030
Laurie Fiore and Tammy Soshowski, Girl Scout Troop 7330, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
The Alpert Family, Manhasset, New York
Tiffiny, Madison, and Griffin Smith, Colliers, West Virginia
Lisa Meyer and the PreK students of Congregational School, Manhasset, New York
Ruth Rosenthal, Cherise Sorenson, Marci Dollinger, and their 2nd and 3rd grade buddies at Brandeis Hillel Day School, San Rafael, California
Theresa Howley and the students of Seckmen Elementary School, Imperial, Missouri
Linda Stupic and the students of the Marion Center Area School District, Marion Center, Pennsylvania
Marlene Perea and the students of WE Cherry Elementary, Orange Park, Florida
The teachers and students of Richland Elementary School, Abercrombie, North Dakota
Justine Spriggs and the students of Annsville Elementary School, Taberg, New York
Alaya Coles, Shemeeka Harris, and the students of A Child’s Place, East Elmhurst, New York
Mandee Loiacono, Vanessa Roman, and the students of Lake Howell High School, Winter Park, Florida
Becky Gouinlock and the students of Attica Middle School, Attica, New York
Rosalie Jean Farrington and the students of St. Andrew School, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Michele Higgins and the students of Midland Elementary School, Paramus, New Jersey
Bethany Kaiser and the students of the International Christian School, Pyongtaek, Republic of Korea
Natasha, Eric, and Geetindra, Jamaica, New York
Karlee Kircher and the students of Shamona Creek Elementary School, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Donna Kunkle and the students of the Herbert Akins Road Elementary School, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
Marilyn Yuen and the students of Pomaika'i Elementary School, Kahului, Hawaii
Clint Wilcox and the students of Springer Elementary School, Mountain View, California
Mandi Armitage and her students, Roseville, California
Dina Mimnaugh and the students of P.S. 148, East Elmhurst, New York
Christy Crawford and the students of P.S. 51, Bronx, New York
Maureen Chen, Flushing, New York
Rhonda Guinn and the students of the Bluff City Elementary School, Bluff City, Tennessee
Lori Raczka and the 1st grade students of Haddam Elementary School, Higganum, Connecticut
Christine Beck and the students of Arrowhead Elementary, East Setauket, New York
Teacher Karnes and the students of Paducah, Kentucky
Teacher Halupka and the students of School #1, Little Falls, New Jersey
Sandy Setka, Julie Rooney, Ksenija Kassis, and the students of classes K1, K2, and K3 at the Edward H. Bryan Elementary School, Cresskill, New Jersey
Tina Glackin and the students of Bloomsbury Elementary, Bloomsbury, New Jersey
Beth Ondish and the students of Randolph Middle School, Randolph, New Jersey
Mrs. Burgio, Ms. Margolis, Ms. Katz, Mrs. Scharen, Ms. Rifkin, and the students in classes 2–419, K–220, 2–417, 5–405 at P.S. 129, College Point, New York
Karen Buran, Patti Mitchell, Michael Bevilacqua, and the 4th Grade students of Newbridge Road School, North Bellmore, New York
The teachers and students of St. Michael School, Pawcatuck, Connecticut
The teachers and 1st graders of Saint Margaret Mary School, Louisville, Kentucky
Laura Ellison and her students, Decator, Illinois
The supportive staff at P.S. 212,
Jackson Heights, New York:
all of the AMAZING students, grades K–5 =)
Big hugs to each and every one of you.