Fireman's Big Red Sleigh

Shenendehowa has a great program where students whose families are struggling during the holiday season can receive a little extra help with gifts. These students get a small budget where they can have essentials like clothes or small gifts picked out for them anonymously by another student. It's really a beautiful program and I had the pleasure of offering it to one of my students. He turned it down. 

As many of you know, I teach students with behavioral and emotional needs; I teach the "bad" kids. This student has had to buy his own gifts for years and just transferred to Shenendehowa after a period in an alternative learning placement for extreme cases. He was rough. 

I offered this program to him and he turned it down. I convinced him, but it took some effort. As soon as I mentioned it to him, quite literally without hesitation, he said he'd rather give back to his community because he knows there are other students that are more in need than him. This is what a "bad" kid does during the holidays - instinctively thinks of others. 

He's an 18 year old sophomore and all he wants is to be a firefighter and EMT so he can serve his community. You should see his face when he talks about it. You'd smile right along with his beaming face, never knowing he's fought for what he has every step of the way. 

This student works every single day to get ahead and not be the failure people expected he'd be and it shows. 

He accepted the gift, but reluctantly because he felt he should STILL give back to his community so that's why I'm setting up this holiday drive. The drive is in honour of him and will be his gift back to his community. I know times are tough for so many of us and he'd be the first to BEG you not to give more than you're able, but *if* you are able, please consider donating. Proceeds go directly to Things of My Very Own Inc, and any donation will help make an impact. 

I can't give you his name out of respect for his privacy, but he will be shown the results of his hard work (if he lets me, I'll share his reaction).

Happy holidays, my friends.

More information about Things of My Very Own Inc: Things Of My Very Own, Inc. Provides Crisis Intervention Services And Programs To Children Who Have Been Impacted By Extensive Abuse And/Or Neglect. The Organization Also Provides Services To Children And Families Who Are At-Risk Of A Child Protective Services Intervention Solely Due To Not Having Items Necessary For Sustainability. The Organization Works To Keep Children With Their Non-Abusive Family Members And Out Of The Foster Care System Whenever Possible.


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James Davidson 
Clifton Park, NY
Things of My Very Own Inc 
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