Why we put December in a low income school.

I want to start by saying, in no way is what we have chosen the best or only way out there.  We just feel it's our way this season.

But here is why we chose this path:  When we moved to Oregon we knew our oldest would be going into school.  The great thing is that there are many options for school here.  Private Christian Schools, homeschooling, and the county even let's you enter lotteries for any of the many public elementary schools around.  So when the day came, Audrey and I had much to talk about.

We really felt that God had led our family to try our best to make big decisions as missionaries walking in faith.  This led us to believe that the school that was literally just around the corner from our house was a prime mission field.  The coolest part is that Decmeber got to be the lead missionary here.  She would dictate relationships and she would be at the center of decisions of our family involvement.  This has been so beautiful to watch.

It was amazing to see my daughter take extra quarters to buy kids who didn't have any money popcorn on popcorn Wednesdays.  We packaged food together before Christmas break and she rode with me as we gave out food to 50 of her classmates who financially struggle.  She plans play dates and connects us with parents and gives us countless opportunities to show Jesus.  It's been amazing.

My heart has so broken for this school.  I've learned since being a part of the school that it is a very low income school.  Almost 80% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.  When we were handing out food, many moms cried and thanked us profusly.  It made me realize that many of these families don't eat as well as the guest who stay at the Mission where I work.  The school is also an Apple sponsored school with a 1 to 1 ratio of Apple devices to students.  The premise behind this is that if the school can get these kids ahead in technology they can break the cycle of poverty.  The teachers at Howard do such an amazing job, but there is so much need.  To support the devices the school has to charge a $30 technology fee to cover some of the curriculum needed on the devices.

This kind of breaks my heart.  I've met these parents who are literally struggling and could see the shame covering them when they don't know where the $30 or $60 or $90 is going to come from.  More kids, more money.  And I feel so for the teachers who have to make this ask.  They just want to love and lead these children into amazing advancements, but have immediate tension having to seek the curriculum money.

In light of that struggle and need and it being my daughters mission field: I did MATH!!!

$10,500 does away with the need, completely.  Most of you don't have $10,500 laying around.  Me either, but if you have $30 your release tension on a struggling family next year.  I've comitted to talk about this.  Already we have a few hundred dollars raised.  Every $30 is one less parent carrying all that shame.  One less time they have to feel like they can't invest in their child's future.  I hope the gift would even motivate parents to be more involved in the school and all it's programs.  Money is not the only assett these parents bring to the table.

If your heart is moved and you want to give their are three ways.
1.  Give money.  You can mail a check to me and tag it Technology Fee.  Give cash.  Send to my paypal account.  We will give letters from the school to all supporters thanking and showing the amount of impact accomplished by the end of the year.
2.  My daughter is going to participate in a jogathan.  You can give so much per lap in 30 minutes or a set amount and you set the expectation.  She is willing to run for the kids she is meeting.
3.  Donate goods are services for the end of year PTO auction.  If you are local to Eugene and have a business or know someone with a business or you have an online business, donations are welcome.  June the 5th there will be a silent auction that is part of the end of year carnival.  The PTO is committed to being part of the technology fee solution and is giving funds toward lightening that load.

Lastly, here is a picture of December.  She raced her first 1k this last Saturday.  She got second, first girl.  She is amazing and I love her.


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