It has been a minute since I stepped foot into a classroom...20 years as a matter of fact! So the cost of back to school shopping has never really crossed my mind since then. A lot has changed since then. Kids now have to have calculators that can tell you the distance in from Earth to Mars and the "trajectory" (is that the right word?!?) between the two in order to get there. Long gone are the days of "Scott has six apples and Angela eats two...". And what is this "new math" I hear people talking about?
This season Altrusa of Gadsden choose to sponsor a family in need of a little help to provide them with the supplies they would need for the coming year. Four children all together, one going into the 6th, 5th and 4th grades, and a little 2 year old also. Of course, they still needed the basic pens and paper, crayons and markers, and school wouldn't be school with out a three ring binder. But now they have to have clear back packs and can't have a Trapper Keeper!?!?! Nor did I see a single Lisa Frank anything!?!?!
Our day started meeting at Wal-Mart at 7 A.M. Now, I am no means a morning person. I typically enjoy getting up around 9 and then trying to sneak in a nap or so before going to work at 2. However, I have to admit, the best time to go back to school shopping is 7 A.M. There was hardly a soul there and we were able to divide and conquer to get all the things these kids would need. After we finished the school supplies, we got each child three outfits each along with other basic needs. After an hour of shopping we headed to self check out with three carts full....which was probably not the greatest idea because we would manage to swipe three items before the register yelled at us for something. We gave the cashier in that area a work out that day for sure. Finally managing to ring everything up, we still were able to come out under budget!!
Next it was time to load everything up into Becky Potter's car...which she specifically bought with trunk space in mind. It was a good thing too, because we filled it up! Then all the supplies were brought to Scott Browning's house to sort and and fill back packs with the required supplies so that each child will be ready to go. There will be no need for the last minute "Mom I can't find my..." on that early August morning as she tries to get all kids out the door and into school on time! Clothes are folded neatly and ready to go. All that is left is a trip to the shoe store this week and our mission will be complete!
It is a heart warming feeling to know that we are able to take the stress of all this off of at least one family this year. This makes all the hard work of what we do feel worth it. It is through things such as our 2nd Annual Home, Garden and Design Show and our 1st Annual Santa's Workshop that we are able to raise the funds needed for these types of things. Our volunteerism, the hours we give up from our own lives, that go into making these things happen. And we look forward to doing it each and every year!
I am Scott Browning and I am the newest member of Altrusa International of Gadsden, however, I have been a volunteer of theirs for a while now. I became a member because I wanted to do something to give back to my community. I look forward to what I can contribute to the club my many talents and time.