Ears With Which To Hear

Okay, here's the deal: Judy Watkins, an OTHER-WORLDLY teaching assistant of mine, in a classroom of students with mild-moderate special needs, needs a new pair of hearing aides to continue working with children.

Judy was born with hearing loss, is legally deaf, and now uses hearing aides in order to be able to successfully work in classrooms. Her hearing aids have miraculously lasted a couple years longer than they were built to, but they're fading fast, and she needs a new pair. Her health insurance doesn't cover hearing aids (ugh), meaning that soon, without them, she won't be able to keep her job. We cannot let that happen. She needs the children and the children need her. What she does for them is TRULY unmatched.

I (of course) believe that everyone should have access to what they need, health-wise, regardless, so it feels strange to even begin to try to convince you that she "deserves" this, but I am going to, anyway. Here is a picture from a Superhero party she threw for the kids at the end of this school year:

She drew every single one of those superheros, cut them out and mounted them on cardboard, so the kids could each take one home. Behind them is a city she also made out of cardboard.

She also hand-made personalized place settings for each student, with Justice League logos on tiny boxes full of gifts: 

She also made them this four-tiered cardboard cake:

And this Batman with each student and teachers' name on it:

And that banner that said Knowledge Is Our Strength: 

It took her hours and hours over a few weeks to make all of it, and she did it because she loves the kids that much. Also, it wasn't the first or second or even third time she's done something to this scale for the kids. She did it for every major holiday and end of the year party. Different themes each time. She threw a Polar Express party one Christmas, a bell for each student, individualized place settings, trays of hot chocolote. Her husband Eric came dressed up as The Conductor and fully played the part. She also did a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving party, equally intricate, equally as EXHILERATING and EXCITING for the children. Here are photos from some other parties she threw for them, too: 
Beyond this INCREDIBLE extra effort she puts in, she's the most humble woman I've ever known. She earns low wages and does this stuff out of genuine love and passion for the children. She wants them to have experiences they remember. She wants them to be happy.

She also stays after hours and cleans up the classroom every day, straightens the desks, vaccums, organizes papers into piles, puts toys away. I never asked her to do this, she offered, and when she's done she asks if there's anything else she can do. She also routinely plans crafts for the kids and leads the lessons. She is also constantly asking if there's anything more she can do.

No overtime pay.

She's the human embodiment of a Saint.

So, she's worried about not being able to afford a new pair of hearing aids, which out of pocket cost over $6000. Without them, she will have to retire, which she can't afford to do, and isn't ready to do.

Listen, the children need her and she needs them.
That classroom can't afford to lose her, it is where she is meant to be. It is a wonderfully fulfilling feeling to see someone doing exactly what they are made to do, especially when that thing is helping others. 

If you can help, you'll be helping a LOT of people. She needs to be with the children and the children need to be with her :)
  • Michael Cosgrove 
    • 40 $ 
    • 55 mos
  • Julie Glass 
    • 50 $ 
    • 55 mos
  • Sofia Newman 
    • 20 $ 
    • 55 mos
  • Rebe Miller 
    • 25 $ 
    • 55 mos
  • Royce Johnson 
    • 40 $ 
    • 55 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Ani Easton Baker 
Monrovia, CA
Judy Watkins