Friday, October 30, 2009

The Starfish Story

Many years ago I learned of a wonderful organization called The Family Giving Tree. Their mission "is to provide the exact holiday wish, or a backpack filled with school supplies, to those children in the most need in our communities while striving to inspire the values of kindness, philanthropy and volunteerism. "

Most of us may not realize how many children go to school without even a pencil. How fun do you think kindergarten would be without crayons? A kindergarten teacher working in a low income school knows what it's like not to have crayons. She literally cried when receiving backpacks for her kids because she could now plan activities using crayons. I was surprised when I heard that. I mean, I've been working with this organization for years. Certainly a school has a way to fund crayons? Apparently not.

I'm reminded of a story I've heard a few times.

The Starfish Story

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Author Unknown

I'm going to post some touching letters this organization put on their Facebook page. These letters are from the children who received brand new backpacks with brand new supplies. It made a different to that one.

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