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Nov 01 2019
What We Are Capable Of
Stephanie Johnson, CCE, Gritton & Associates

Last month when the ICEL Committee sat together to plan the next few months, the hot topic of conversation was which charity, if any, we were going to support this year as an education league. The committee members brought ideas of different charities that we could pick; each one as deserving as the next.

The overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me. I was grateful to belong to a committee of people who care. I was grateful to be able to be in a position to give. I was reminded that when I was younger, there were people who also cared.

Like too many families, when I was younger, I remember how sparse things were for my family. There were days when we didn't have enough food on the table, weeks when clothing wore thinner than others, and one Christmas season when we were not going to have presents under the tree. My dear mom had made some handicraft items for the kids. But if we are being honest, we did not understand her effort and were instead disappointed as children would be. I am heartily ashamed of that memory now. We were the recipients of a Christmas miracle that year. To this day, we do not know who did it, but Christmas presents and stocking stuffers were dropped off for our whole family a few days prior of Christmas. Of course, as kids, we thought Christmas was saved.

As a grown up now I have a greater understanding of many different aspects of that childhood situation. I understand why I felt so sad when there were not going to be presents under the tree. I understand more of how my parents would have felt at the situation. I also understand how amazing it must have been for the group who dropped off secret Christmas for the Johnson family. I would guess that many of our members come from similar backgrounds as me.

Our education league has the opportunity to help a charity this holiday season that provides items to shop for those who might not have Christmas presents under the tree. The Candy Cane Corner is a deserving organization that helps provide items to those who might not have basic needs, let alone Christmas surprises. We are an education league first, but we are capable of so much more. We are capable of helping and leading. We are capable of showing real kindness and generosity. We are stronger in our efforts together.

You might not be in a position to help personally, but maybe your coworkers are. By reaching out to your colleagues and coworkers to ask for donations for this charity, imagine the possibilities of what we all can do together. Items, money, gift cards. It all adds up. If you need a reminder of what we have been asked to collect, please visit the list. I am amazed by the members of NACM and ICEL. Thank you for inspiring me to do more, be more, and live my best life.

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." - Mahatma Gandhi