Some of my friends have been on Facebook sharing the Huffington Post blog post “Why I Won’t Buy One Extra Box of Kleenex for my Kid’s School Supplies,” and like most, I clicked on the article expecting to read complaints about the price of school supplies. After all, even during the tax free weekends and times when the supplies are marked down, purchasing just one entire list can make a dent in the pockets. Instead, I was happily surprised to find a blog post written about social responsibility. The clickbait title instead led you to a blog post admonishing people’s selfishness and complaints about helping children and teachers. The author really got it right!
Personally, I take school shopping seriously. Even before my niece was born, I was out there donating supplies when I could. School saved my life and I’m aware of how important an education is. It was my ticket to the middle class and out of the projects. You won’t ever convince me it’s not a wise investment.
I’m also aware that education has seen the biggest cuts. Teachers get paid crap salaries, pivotal school programs in the arts are disappearing, sometimes kids can’t get lunch, and our undereducated populace refuses to vote for politicians that offer solutions for our literacy problems in America.
Basically, teaching is a hard job. They’re already playing babysitter and once your children’s grubby hands have destroyed their crayons, teachers are using their own meager paychecks to buy more. I’d be offended if Corporate America asked me to buy my own computer.
So yes, when I get my nieces list, I buy everything on it that I can find. Nevermind that I wont get any credit as her parents deliver the bags. Nevermind that she won’t use it all. Inevitably, a woman with five kids pushes past me with a handful of lists and I know she won’t be able to handle it. That moment doesn’t make me mad, it energizes me to help. My niece can share. And sharing is caring.
You’ve got to understand that education saved my life. What’s a few Kleenex boxes extra if I can help someone else’s kid escape their circumstances? What’s am extra pack of crayons if it keeps me nieces teacher focused on teaching her, instead of worrying about purchasing supplies from her own paycheck?
Besides, every kid deserves a pencil.