Today in church, I heard my Pastor tell the congregation to, "Think globally but act locally". Hmm, what a great phrase. My church is beginning their annual drive to collect backpacks and fill them with school supplies for needy students for the upcoming school year. What a wonderful project for the congregation and a true blessing for needy families and teachers who have to supply their classrooms every year.
But my Pastor's words, "Think globally, but act locally" really touched my heart in that I feel strongly that this is how we should think and act. I can't begin to tell you how many times in my 31 year teaching career that I was asked to donate money for my students (and adults) to go overseas on a missions trip to 'serve the poor'. Yes, this is a nice gesture of course, but so often I would think to myself, "instead of raising $1,000 for a flight and hotel accommodations to South America, Haiti or the Bahamas to serve the poor and needy, why don't you use that $1,000 and walk out your front door and serve the poor?" Maybe not so glamorous, but what is the goal; to travel or serve the needy?
I had two teacher friends that raised money to go overseas to serve on a missions trip; one went to Italy the other to Australia. To be honest with you, I felt as though I contributed to their vacation, not a mission trip.
Every morning when I drive to school I see the homeless, hanging out on the corner. Men come to my window begging for money...you know what it is like in South Florida, you know what it is like in our school neighborhood. Florida has one of the largest homeless communities in all of the U.S. mainly due to our weather. It is easier to live homeless in our climate than it is up north.
All of you have mandatory community service hours to complete before graduation. This is a requirement given to you but very little is mentioned about why it is given to you and how you can personally benefit from fulfilling this graduation requirement. So for the next two or three blog posts, I am going to give all of you my opinion on how you will personally benefit from volunteering. It is my hope that after listening to my thoughts on volunteerism, you will not only glean more from your volunteer work, but you will also remain someone who will, "think globally, but act locally" all your life! Enough for now, I will begin tomorrow evening. You guys are great kids and I see so much good in you, and as a teacher (an encourager of students) I want to uplift you and encourage you to be the best that you can be! Tomorrow, I will begin the discussion.
Good night Tigers, Love, Ms. B.