***10 Days ‘Til Christmas!!!***
We’re officially down to 10 days until Christmas, which means just 10 Days of Giving left. Today I had my last Reading Partners tutoring session, and we took it easy, just reading aloud from a book taking turns every other chapter. It was great to hear my student reading aloud with much more confidence than at the beginning of the semester. I signed up for the spring semester as well so hopefully I will be able to keep on tutoring through the entire school year, even after I get a job.
Now, since I’ve already told you all about Reading Partners here, here, and here, I decided to throw in a little extra Giving so that you’d have something else exciting to read about. Remember how I told you about my last minute gig with the SPCA on Tuesday night at Macy’s? Well I had already had another Giving Activity scheduled earlier in the day on Tuesday, and even though I also signed up with the SPCA, I honored my previous commitment, of course.
So earlier in the day on Tuesday I headed downtown again to the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) to volunteer with their After-School program. The TNDC provides safe, affordable housing and other services to low-income people in San Francisco, including more than 3,500 children. Their Tenderloin After-School Program provides a safe, supervised space for over 200 children to play. It’s a free program for the kids, and focuses on recreational outings, academic support, and leadership training. These types of programs are so important in our communities. With some extra structure, kids have a better chance for a great future.
I had signed up to wrap gifts for their annual holiday party, during which each of their students receives a gift (donated by the larger community). When I arrived, the volunteer coordinator informed me that all of the gifts were wrapped until they received another shipment, and instead would I like to decorate the bags into which they’d put a gift along with some other odds and ends, like snacks and candy canes. I’m no Van Gogh, but I can do some basic block letters, so I spent the time writing each kid’s name onto a bag and drawing little snowmen, reindeer, Christmas trees, and multi-colored light strands. Overall, they looked like they had been done by a 3rd grader. But it was pretty fun to mellow out and color for a few hours.
Plus I was fortunate enough to have company: another gal about my age, who is also unemployed, was there with me and we discussed our similar experiences during our time off. I thought it was great that she also felt inspired to do more for the community.
So that was Tuesday’s Secret Giving Activity for your reading enjoyment. Tune in this weekend for some more exciting Giving!
Want to Join Me in Giving? Visit the TNDC website for more information on giving your time, money, or resources. Or look up other After-School Programs in your area and see how you can help. So many programs need folks who can commit to just 2 hours a week teaching kids whatever special skill you have.