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Vinny's Heroes

$2,133 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 3 months
Seven years ago, a kitty came into our universe and the skies opened and peels of laughter rained down on us.  "Vinny" greeted us daily with whisker kisses, made us laugh until we cried, allowed his brother to wear him around his neck like a scarf and climbed the 16 foot Christmas tree every single year before we decorated it, forcing us to drag out the ladder and wrestle him down.  He was always making us smile--until the day he stopped breathing.  He died a horrific death at the hands of another.  Our pain is immeasurable but Vinny would want us to stop crying and make his time here worth the pain he endured. 

We (Vinny's parents) work at a Title I school in a town in Colorado.  Our kiddos are in great need of just about everything.  Half of my class has lost a parent (or both) to violence and/or drugs.  Many are lost in the system.  We get up everyday and try to make a difference.  But the teachers here, those in neighboring towns and across America do not make enough to supply these kids with the simple things and the local paper's Op Ed claims the teachers aren't doing enough.  We've emptied our accounts and now we are seeking help elsewhere--in Vinny's name. As for "Heroes," you are our heroes.  It takes something special to take the time to donate.  The children who make it to school each day are our heroes.  The teachers who clock in daily are our heroes. 

We requested the group (Mesa Veterinary Clinic) that failed Vinny to help with these costs, but instead we have a battle royale with insurance agents.  Our credit cards are maxed out paying for their gross negligence but THIS campaign is not for us.  Or our credit cards.  This fund-raising will go on with monthly reminders and donations in Vinny's name to be shared with teachers in need to fund STUDENT activities, clothing (we, personally, have simple uniforms and one of my girls still wears her first grade uniform top--and as the tallest girl in my 4th grade class, she clearly is not wearing one that fits), coats, scarves and gloves, food, supplies and sundries because some live in their cars and well, they most definitely need them.  Soap, shampoo, lice treatments at times, bandages for boo-boos and the like simply aren't on their list of "buys." Neither are school supplies.  (Teachers send teachers requests--word travels throughout the Title I communities, coast to coast, and we are asking in circles to each other--tomorrow we are bringing bags of potatoes and pies so some can have a Thanksgiving.  It never ends.  It is the classic robbing Peter to pay Paul.  So we are asking outside this circle.)

These items can be on Vinny's supply list--with your help.  A buck or two, here or there, or maybe more if you can find it in your couch or car console.  Both my husband and I left careers of 40 years to move 1,500 miles to a town, where we did not know a soul, to help these children.  Vinny made them laugh as part of many of my lesson plans.  I wiped many tears when he was taken from us...off their faces and ours.  He would want to make a difference.  

Someone said, "But he was just a cat."  No...he was our littlest (sometimes naughty) angel and our friend, my child; he was our laughter, he was my sparkle.  Please help Vinny raise money to help these special children.  We thank you in advance for your generosity.  Your kindness has always been my inspiration.  We have holidays coming and an empty wallet.  Please and thank you!  And that thank you comes from a place deep in my heart.

"If love could have saved Vinny, he would have lived forever." 

Now it our turn to give some of that love to these children who have so little. 

Good karma, sweet blessings, much love, glorious hugs and sparkles to all.

Deb
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Happy New Year to all of our friends. Actually it is closer to Valentine's Day and I leave my heart daily on the floor of my classroom. There is no child or any other that goes unnoticed. It is overwhelming on many days and you are needed 125% so someone loses....but only for the day. Exhaustion is part of every breath I take. Vinny is part of me and his courage, humor and love carry me. I'd like to say it's easier...but I won't lie to you. What I wanted to tell you was how we have been able to do with the money so far for the kiddos and their teachers: air conditioner (partial); 3d personal projectors, Christmas gifts to take home to families, simple supplies like ink cartridges, pencils, pens, reams and reams of paper, technology cords, surge protectors, art supplies, felt pennants with puff paints to create their college dream, class parties where one wouldn't exist, ginger bread homes' supplies (created by the special needs class), staplers, tape dispensers, pencil sharpeners, toner, dry erase markers, U.S. and world maps for the walls (many children have no concept of anything outside the city limits) and so much more. We have so many more needs and while the school has an amazing food pantry, which both the school kiddos and aides and teachers in need can use, the needs are overwhelming at times. BUT YOU HAVE MADE SUCH A DIFFERENCE. Most of the funds have been depleted....and Vinny and his mom are again asking for the "kindness of others," we wanted you to know how your donations have helped tremendously, have given us hope that there are greater things to come and we may be able to take a field trip or two (locally as the costs for more are out of our range for now) before the end of the year.

Thank you....thank you....thank you! Share, remember us should you find a dollar or two in your couch :) Your love and generosity knows no bounds and my kiddos talk about YOU every week and how lucky we are.
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UPDATE: We are finally 'home' for the holidays, found time to distribute food and toys, delivered cards for the elderly (per Sheriff Bert's request before he passed), ordered or delivered hundreds of dollars worth of much needed items. We'll be back to "work" January 3 and it is a never ending need we are supplying. I wish each and every one of you a magnificent holiday with family and friends. As I grow older I recognize how important family, especially our four-legged ones are to each of us. And while I have no gadget needs (my old phone works just fine), I do need friends....I adore and cherish my family, and my heart breaks for the loss of Vinny---the first Christmas in 7 years without him. I find just the act of breathing difficult without him. So do his 'siblings.' Everybody tells me time will make the pain go away....sadly, I haven't felt any relief yet. But the love of my students and my human friends and family help. Hold each other tight, love each other mightily, and laugh....Vinny could make me laugh...this world is truly missing an angel. Keep your loved ones close and safe.
Love Debi and Michael
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UPDATE: What a week! The funds are growing and I would like to share what we have been able to purchase to date.

Our recipients have bought simple things like staplers, tape dispensers, erasable pens and highlighters. Then some, with glorious imaginations, are purchasing Virtual Reality 'goggles so that these children can 'travel' to far away places that most will never visit in person. Not one child in my class last year could identify "Pueblo" as a "city." Now they talk about traveling around the world. Seeing me on a camel at the pyramids of Egypt was quite a site over 40 years ago and brought joy and laughter this past week.

Your donations have allowed these children to dream. WHAT A GIFT YOU HAVE PROVIDED. We can't thank you enough. And for that teacher who is working hard to find donations for her air conditioner?? She is still working hard to fund it, but now she is much closer with your help. Thank you.

The sad part of this past week. One of my dear teaching friends who works in the special education department lost her most beloved four legged friend, Leela. Sadly, she got out and was hit by a car. She successfully had her leg amputated. BUT....not knowing that Mesa Veterinary Clinic was the place that Vinny was tortured and killed, she rushed her baby Leela to Mesa (they claim they are a 24 hour service provider. And like Vinny, Leela was left alone, hours after having her leg amputated. She lay there in the dark, in pain, wondering where her momma was and her momma was at home worrying about her but believing she was in good hands. First the morning call came, just like with Vinny. "Lela is doing poorly." Then, when they heard my friend was coming over as soon as she could find a substitute to cover for her, Matt called. "Leela is doing great! Don't worry. Come after school." I knew---I knew....I had been there. Minutes before she was to leave, she got a call from her husband that Leela had "suddenly" died. Unlike us, she never had the opportunity to hold her and say good-bye. The pain she is in is immeasurable.

I have no words for this place...other than what I have used before. LIARS, MURDERERS, BUTCHERS.

I shall continue, in Vinny's name, to fight the fight against this group of purported doctors.
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Room 120 is amazing. They emptied their pennies for Vinny and started over again finding coins, some covered in dirt, giving up the extra piece of pizza during lunch to donate to this plan.

Several donors have mailed us checks because they aren't comfortable donating with a credit card. That's great and we are happy to accept donations any way you are comfortable.

Our school is holding a food drive allowing the classroom that wins to have a root beer float party. Sadly, in most cases, that is a 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' scenario. But so it goes.

The monies collected are going for such simple things: erasable pens, expo markers, a contribution for an air conditioner (for another teacher even though our classroom exceeded 100 degrees on many days during the first month of school--something to keep in the back of my head). So much need in classrooms across America. Found out the last day of the Thanksgiving break that one of our students had, for all intents and purposes, was without food since the last day of school before break. We serve free breakfasts, lunches and snack most days. How scary and sad for this youngster....how did so many of us miss this? We must keep trying harder.

So I am here to plead to those who may be waiting to donate....Christmas holidays are upon us...and we are up to our eyebrows with children who aren't on the radar of many organizations. Vinny can and will make a difference. Thank you so much for your generosity. As my dear childhood friend stated: "Every child deserves the chance to succeed...the chance to an education."

I love my family and my friends. You rock and I promise to sparkle as I send out "What do you need? messages to my fellow teachers. It will be hard for them to choose among their long lists but with your help, we can help so many!!!

Pictures will follow of our smiling faces. Hugs to all.
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$2,133 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 3 months
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CL
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