|Shirt: H&M, Skirt: Express, Shoes: ShoeDazzle, Earrings: Marthe Pinaire, Necklace: Pink & Blue, Ring: LOTUS, Bracelets: LOTUS and Target, Watch and Purse: Michael Kors|
Today was Classroom Central's 10th annual "Color A Brighter Future" philanthropic luncheon. If you are not familiar with Classroom Central, they are a wonderful non-profit organization (based in Charlotte) that is dedicated to making sure that all students and teachers have the school supplies that they so desperately need. Classroom Central gathers donations of school supplies and invites teachers to come to their store to "shop" at no cost. Pencils, pens, and notebook paper may not seem like a big deal, or a key factor for future success, but when you really think about the impact of not having them, the domino effect is staggering. I have been supporting Classroom Central (in the menial ways that I can) for about 4 years now. At this fundraising luncheon a couple of years ago I heard a 4th grade teacher tell the story of the day that she was collecting her students homework, and one of her best students didn't have any to turn in. When she asked him where it was, he rolled up his shirt sleeve and showed her his spelling words written in ink on his forearm. He looked down ashamed when he explained that he didn't have a pencil or any paper, but that he didn't want to come to school without his homework done. I cried my eyes out when I heard that. There are thousands of similar stories, of children who WANT to succeed, but don't have the resources they need, so they give up. Can you blame them? If their parents are struggling to pay their mortgages/rent, utilities, or focused on getting enough hours at work to make ends meet, children know that. They don't want to stress their parents out by asking them to buy pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, scissors, rulers, calculators, etc. Many families have NO extra money at all. Hopefully, you've never had to feel this way, but if you grew up with little then you know what I mean. My mother is a saint in my eyes. She has sacrificed SO much for her children, and her struggle was long and exhausting. I remember being keenly aware that we did not have extra, but somehow, lunch money was always there on the table for all of us as we walked out the door. Relatively speaking, we were very fortunate, but many are not. As far as the teachers go, so many spend their own money on supplies for their students (and don't even GET me started on how infuriatingly underpaid teachers are). Anyway, I know this is a fashion/style blog, so here is what I wore today, but I can't stop thinking about Classroom Central... their mission, their unwavering commitment to children, and just how blessed I am personally. So... I thought I'd share in the hopes that you can help in some small way of your own. There are a lot of ways to get involved. Last year, we held a Superbowl party and asked all of our friends to bring school supplies for Classroom Central instead of a dish to pass. We gathered hundreds of pens, pencils and scores of notebooks. It wasn't much in the grand scheme of things, but something is better than nothing. There is a quote that I keep framed in my house and it seems relevant. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."-Margaret Mead.