It’s another list my friends…a list of the things I was thinking about just this last week as I worked with Scholars, worked with area businesses, and began planning for our annual celebratory Gala and Heidi’s Hope, our annual serve-a-thon. The gala supports the operations of our organization, and Heidi’s Hope is how we raise money to build our endowment. The endowment allows us to help even more students, growing the power of Aroostook’s youth and Aroostook’s future. But, not everyone can do what we do…after all, we only have 24 hours in a day. So…how can you help Aroostook kids?
Here are five ways!
5. Volunteer. I know this sounds really simple, but volunteering with kids is about the best thing in the world for their character. Is shows the students that you care about them, the area, and your hometown. It gives a great example of what we should do as we grow. We should give back to the place that gives us so much.
4. Talk with them, tell them why you are in Aroostook County, or why Aroostook County is so special to you. This is REALLY important. Most kids in Aroostook County are told over and over again that there is no opportunity here, and that there isn’t a way for success. That simply isn’t true. The problem is that we all complain. We can’t help it, winter is 7 months long…and honestly that’s about 2 months too much for me. But, we live here for a reason. We choose this place for a reason. We need to share that reason more, explain to our children that Aroostook has so much to offer us, and that the good truly does outweigh the bad.
3. Tell them your story. Have you found success? Tell our children how you did it. Tell them where you went to school, what your childhood was like, tell them the work you put in to get to where you are right now. Those stories are important. They need to be heard. You’ve made it, and you had help along the way. Who gave you that help? Share that person with Aroostook children. Share YOUR story. Some of the greatest memories I have as a child is listening to the neighborhood ladies talk about the Aroostook of their childhood. I loved those stories, and so do all other kids.
2. Tell the WHOLE story. Be honest with them about the obstacles you’ve faced and the ones you’ve overcome. Life isn’t a bed of roses, and although we think students understand that…they really don’t. Most expect life to be easy, full of happiness, and maybe just a little work. That isn’t life, that’s a fairytale. Life is hard, work is hard, and to find true success and happiness is even harder. Telling the not-so-good stories is just as important as telling the good ones. Children need to hear about the obstacles they may face in life, and giving them examples of someone who overcame those obstacles is a huge gift.
1. Donate to this program. I know you saw this coming, but I really do mean it. Donating to this program is a way you can help Aroostook children achieve a better future TODAY. We need your support, and so do they.
These are some of the faces of Aroostook’s future. They are so full of life and hope. The world truly is their oyster…and they need the guidance and mentoring of those who have already walked this path. Your donation allows this program, the one and only of its kind in Maine, to continue doing the work we do everyday. It is important work, and it is work we ALL have to be a part of. I know that money is tight everywhere; I know that your donation dollars are stretched every year. Here is what makes AAI different, here is the promise we can make to you: Every dollar you donate is spent on the work we do HERE in Aroostook County. Every single dollar. If 1000 of you donated just $10 monthly to AAI, we wouldn’t have to hold any other fundraisers for operations. We could focus all of our time and our energy on building our endowment, on working with Gauvin Scholars and communities to help rebuild the once strong and vibrant spirit of this County. We could focus on what is truly important…our children and their futures.
Help us..help us help them…and then they will help you; they will help Aroostook. Just $10 a month…that’s one coffee a week. Can you help us? Can you help them? Yes…you CAN! Join the businesses below in their support of what we do. Let’s walk the talk….let’s walk the talk.