Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Office Depot Helps Teachers

And Office Depot is helping me help teachers, too. In my final post of this series, Office Depot is walking the talk. They provided me with a collection of classroom supplies packaged in a fabulous "Workmate" office-on-wheels bag and a $100 gift certificate to award to a special teacher or two.

Here's how I split the bounty:

If you've ever sat through an beginner band performance, you know there is a very special place in heaven for elementary school band directors. Simply teaching young children how to play and care for their instrument is a tremendous task. Combine that with coordinating the fledgling musicians to play en masse? Well, that takes a tremendous amount of patience and effort.

Ms. Saks, our school's band director teaches instrument play and musicianship in grades 4-8. She gives the job her all, getting to school early, leaving late and dipping into her own pockets whether it's to buy doughnuts for her students for an extra early morning practice session, band supplies, or classroom materials. She has high expectations and makes the kids work hard to meet them. And the band sounds fantastic.

She is such a gift to her students (even if they don't recognize it during yet another early morning practice), so it was exciting for me to give her a gift of a $100 to spend at Office Depot. She was so excited and has no shortage of ways to spend it to benefit her students.

When I first learned that Office Depot's REAL change campaign partnered with Adopt a Classroom.org, I clicked around the site to see which local schools already had active pages. I noticed that my son's former computer teacher, now a Chicago Public School teacher, and his colleagues from West Ridge Elementary School were taking advantage of this great site. I knew I wanted to share Office Depot's generosity with them, as well. 

This Saturday before the start of Scratch Day Chicago, I'm giving Brian Myers the super deluxe Workmate bag filled with school supplies from Office Depot and books  for the school library. The books came from local resale shops and made a brief appearance as centerpieces at my son's recent bar mitzvah. Once the books and supplies are removed bag Brian will have space to tote several laptops around with ease. That should come in handy because he also works with programs outside of school like Have Dreams.

It's not too late to tell your favorite teachers about Office Depot’s charity partner, AdoptaClassroom.org and participate in the REAL Change Project! What a great opportunity to be eligible for funding from donors around the country. And how fun would it be to surprise one of your former teachers with a gift through the site?

As a parent, I like when teachers take advantage of sites like this. Sometimes you want to do a little something for a teacher who has made that extra effort for your child and it's nice to know what they'd really like to help them continue to make a difference.

Disclosure: I am an Office Depot REAL Change blog ambassador. This post is part of a campaign where I was compensated for my time. To learn more about REAL Change, visit their website.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

It's hard to believe this is my 15th Mother's Day. I still remember the first one. We took out little bambino for a morning stroll at the Botanic Gardens. It was probably one of our first family outings. This year I'll start out the day with breakfast in bed taking my son to the synagogue at 9:00 to sell his seed bombs (he's halfway to his goal!) followed by a soccer game and dinner at my moms. I guess we'll celebrate with my in-laws on Saturday; I'll see what my husband has planned. Silly me, it's Mother's Day and I have to make the plans, right?

Here's another thing I never thought I'd say. "Honey, go ahead and get me a weed whacker for Mother's Day." But I did. I'm practical like that.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Feeling Buggy

A huge black bug scampered across the laundry room floor after I grabbed something from my son's clothes pile on the floor to toss in the washing machine. The critter quickly took cover under a plastic garbage bag that's supposed to be hanging from the laundry room door, but was also on the floor.

My heart pounding (did I mention it was huge?), I stomped all over the bag hoping that I was squishing whatever was beneath the bag. I pounded the floor with my foot several times (and possibly let out a scream and a curse or two) then quieted down to listen for the crunching sounding that would indicate the end of the dark creature's life.

When I felt confident enough to move the bag, I lifted it up to find...a shiny black bouncy ball of the type that comes out of a gumball machine. After breathing a sigh of relief and swearing under my breath (this time at my sloppy kids), I hung the trash bag in its rightful spot on the door and promptly deposited the ball inside.

Guess who will be cleaning their rooms and doing laundry tonight?