Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the holiday season. For the last four years my employer has challenged area schools to collect canned good for local food pantries. The school that collects the most pounds of food per student wins $1,000. One school gets a nice prize, we gather more food than we could ever buy with $1,000 and the kids get a wonderful lesson in giving. The first year we did it, I was in tears before the end of the day because of how touched I was by the children's generosity. Of course, I was also having an emotional time with Sissy, and Christmas kind of makes me cry anyway (I'm such a sap.) Nonetheless, it was a very moving experience, and since the Challenge has grown each year, it's just a wonderful day when we collect the food. The linemen help me. We get two trucks with lifts, some pallet jacks and extra collection bins and we hit the streets for a day of holiday spirit. Arriving at each school is like opening a present. We open the doors and peek into the hallway for what is almost always a great surprise of more food than we expected. I can't tell you how joyous it is to walk into a school and find food stacked up on the floor and spilling out of bins. Joyous, I tell you. Joyous. It's the usually the day of the year when my Christmas spirit starts to kick in, thanks to all those kids. This year was no different.
This year, we had ten schools participating. When we were finished gathering up food, weighing it and loading it into a semi trailer, we had collected 22,520 pounds of food. Yeehaw! We filled that semi trailer full. And rather than rattle on and on about it, I thought I'd just share with you a video I made from snapshots our crews took along the way. And ya'll, I'm so proud of myself. I made it all the way through the day without crying. Although I did get a little misty when I launched into that little pep talk with those fourth graders about the power of one person when he joins with others to work toward a common goal.
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