Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Single Grain of Rice Can Tip the Scale

Christina's rice crispy treats, lower right hand side, help raise money for fellow students in Sudan.

In the movie musical Mulan, which happened to be last year's Middle School musical, the Emperor says,

A single grain of rice can tip the scale.

How true this is. A single grain of rice can mean the difference between life and death, an act of kindness between hope and despair, a donation the difference between the success or failure of many.

Gabriel Bol Deng was here today to talk to the kids about his heartbreaking experience as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and to talk about his organization, Hope for Ariang. Although many would have succumbed to the horrors of what happened in war-torn Sudan, Gabriel is an inspiring example of someone who took the coal of darkness and hopelessness and reshaped it into a shining diamond of compassion and assistance. He works tirelessly to tell many his story, so they will be inspired to make a difference. Hope for Ariang raises funds to support the construction of a school in Gabriel's hometown that will serve over 600 children and more and the drilling of wells to provide water for over 20,000 people. To donate to these efforts, click here.

In preparation for his visit, the 6th grade spearheaded a bake sale to raise money for Hope for Ariang. The night before the sale, we got home late, and since I was not feeling well, I told Christina, "I'm sorry, honey, but I'm just not up to baking something for the bake sale."

No matter. Christina said, "I'm fine on my own. I'm going to make Rice Crispy Treats with M&Ms. I don't really have a recipe, so I'm just going to wing it."

As I watched her guesstimate the marshmallows, butter, and some caramel chews, and pour the tumbling grains of crisped rice out of the cereal box, I felt immense pride.

Here is a girl who is showing enterpreneurship, resourcefulness, and creativity for a good cause.

The next day, we were running late and were in the car already backing out of the driveway when Christina said she needed to get something in the house. She got out of the car, ran in the house, and when she came out, she had some tightly folded dollar bills in her hand.

I asked her what they were for, and she said they were for the bake sale.

"I have $6 from my piggy bank, and if there's nothing I want to buy from the bake sale, I'm going to give this money anyway. I know this is not about cookies, but about helping kids go to school in Africa."

In addition to my earlier pride, I felt immense satisfaction in knowing my daughter understands philanthropy, which means "love of mankind," and what it means to live the school motto, Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.

And who knows? Her final six dollars may help pay for the door that will open into a new school and a future for hundreds of children.

A single grain of rice can tip the scale.

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