Saturday, December 21, 2013

Best "Feel Good" Moment of the Holidays

I am lucky that I have the job of my dreams.  I get to go to my job everyday and work with 3-7 year old children with autism.  It also happens that my school coworkers and administration are fantastic.  But did I mention the janitorial staff?  Not yet.  These 4 men and women also come to work everyday, but their job is very different.  They don't work with our young students or see their smiles of accomplishment, but everyday they are there making our little corner of the world safe and clean.  It's so easy to forget how important they are since they are so out of sight most of the time . . . until this year.

This year, at the suggestion of Krystina, our Special Education Services team of teachers and paraprofessionals (and our wonderful councilor, Lisa) decided to treat them to a warm meal made with love, a cozy table setting to eat and have fellowship before beginning their shift, and gifts of appreciation for Christmas.  The pictures below were taken by Krystina, my wonderful friend, of the teacher's lounge before they arrived for their night shift.

Now before you judge on the paper and plastic, let me tell you some thought went into this choice.  You know I'm kinda green and using disposable anything makes my heart beat too fast, but we really didn't want them to feel like they had to do dishes when they were finished eating.

We made plenty of food so that they could bring home leftovers of the Chicken Spaghetti ( I made enough for 2-8x8 casseroles, but put them in a large foil pan) , salad, and bread.

There was also dessert, sweet and un-sweet tea with ice, and containers for them to pack up a to go meal.

We collected so many nice little treats that extra large gift bags were needed.  There were candles and lotions, gloves and cookies, gift cards and candies, and all kinds of goodies.  Okay, I know it's a cheesy rhyme, but it's Christmas.

Everyone was so touched by the experience, but most of all those of us who gave.  More than one person got tears in their eyes when they told me the next day how wonderful they felt about what we had done.  I felt good dropping my spare change in the Salvation Army bucket at Hobby Lobby. I felt great shopping and wrapping for a family with 3 children and true needs.  But my best warm fuzzy feel good came from seeing the smiles from Jose, Maria, and Margaret the next day when they came in for their last shift before Christmas Break.  I think we all agree that this is a tradition that will continue for years to come.

Thank you Krystina, Andrea, all 3 Janets, Lindsey, Sandra, Sara and Sarah, Paula, Shelby, Stacie, Sharon, Lisa, Leslie, and Elizabeth.