In recent weeks, the outpouring of generosity from the community has been amazing.
Specifically, we’ve received many donations of clothing, blankets, toys, cash; all to benefit our disadvantaged and displaced students and their families. Almost as quickly as the various items come in to the district office, receptionist Susan Campbell sorts them and Ben Limon, our warehouse delivery man, gets items loaded in his van and distributed to school sites. From there, the dedicated front office staff at each site distributes them to the needy. Rim Country Healing Rooms, Women of the Moose, Payson Tea Party, Rotary, Kiwanis and individuals too numerous to list here have all helped to make this, what is a difficult time for many of our kids and their parents, a little easier and a little brighter.
Last week PUSD provided a Thanksgiving meal for a large number of our families who currently live in various temporary housing settings due to financial hardship. The food and gifts were all donated and the over 60 staff volunteers took time from their own holiday, to make a special day for those in need.
There are economic forecasters who assert that “we’ve turned the corner” on this recession. I won’t argue over macro-economics. Technically, this may be true, but visit with our fine teachers and they’ll tell you a different story. One, the number of kids in need or displaced is still rising, and two, these teachers come to work every day, giving their all, while pondering with very real questions: How’s the state budget crisis going to impact our school district? Will I have a job next year? Yet they face or put aside these founded fears to do their job and give their all.
So, as we head into a new year that still seems to hold a fair amount of fiscal uncertainty, I’m inspired to focus on what is good: our generous citizens, faith and civic organizations and our dedicated educators. Such generosity of effort and spirit is gratifying to witness and with the gratitude comes a sense of satisfaction, that having turned the corner or not, we have, in this community a depth of character that transcends the economics of the day.