Today I'm excited because my brother Mark and his friend Shawn are in town for the Super Bowl tomorrow, so they're staying with us. It was great fun to sit around the breakfast table this morning, listen to the story of how they ended up getting into the ESPN party alongside Green Bay Packer Eddie Lacy . . .
and enjoy pancakes and bacon with them
while laughing and reconnecting.
I'm also super satisfied and bursting with joy
that our SOS (Sweets for Our Soldiers) care packages
filled with home-baked goodness and homemade Valentines
are on their way to the hearts, hands, and tummies
of the sixteen deployed service men and women we adopted.
This long-standing tradition started years ago as an Operation SOS campaign to send much-needed supplies to our soldiers with notes of thanks as a way to show our patriotism and citizenship while expressing our gratitude for their heroism, service and sacrifice.
A few years back, we switched gears and decided to encourage our families to work together for a cause so we could send kindness from our kitchens, something our military heroes have coined hugs from home.
This week, a picture of exactly what we were going for.
Every year, the Friendswood Rotary sets aside funds to help us pay the postage on these flat-rate boxes, which cost $17.35 each to ship. At this year's Rotary luncheon, a month before our project would even begin, one Rotarian felt called to give us a $20 from her purse, so their donation would be $520 in all. It really helps to not have to worry about how we'll possibly pay for this project on a school budget and we are so very grateful to the Rotary for their generous partnership.
I started out just taping up seventeen large boxes because we never know how many families will be able to carve out time to make something tasty for our troops. As we filled one table, then two and three with these delectable delights, I knew that this would be yet another successful service project.
Student Council reps met Thursday afternoon to fill each box to the brim with the yummy donations that had rolled in as I taped up thirteen more boxes. By 4:30 that afternoon, our thirty boxes were packed full and taped shut, ready to go.
Because the Rotary provided the funds for shipping, it wasn't until I got home that afternoon that I wondered how close we'd come to using their donation. I couldn't believe what I saw when I punched the numbers into my calculator.
Wait, what? Just 50 cents?
Was it a coincidence that my brother needed my car on Friday so I caught a ride to school with my friend Caryn? Was it a coincidence that she just happens to have a brother on deployment getting two of our boxes? And was it a coincidence that Caryn's children were the first to hear the story about how beautifully our box count aligned with the Rotary's donation?
After helping me carry the boxes to the front and stack them into a patriotic pyramid display, these superheroes each brought me a quarter, the fifty cents that we would need to complete this year's SOS kindness campaign.
It doesn't get any sweeter than that.