"Our Chief Example to Others" (CEO) Skill This Month is Gratitude
Dear Parents and Friends,
This month we will be focusing on the character trait of gratitude with our students. I was recently reading about the many ways to express gratitude and came across a wonderful story about how one man expressed gratitude for all that he had been given by offering to help fifty to seventy-five families with a gift of approximately $5 during the Great Depression of 1933. $5 today doesn’t seem like much, but 86 years ago it was really the equivalent of $100. The man called himself B.Virdor and wanted to help these families so “they will be able to spend a merry and joyful Christmas.” Virdor was an anonymous name and he was actually a Jewish man who came to the U.S. from Romania. He did well for himself and wanted to help others. He revealed almost nothing about himself in the newspaper posting and asked that those in trouble write to him, care of general delivery and describe their “true circumstances.” He promised to keep all identities a secret and that they would never know his.
The Great Depression was a time of overwhelming despair. Many children actually starved to death and were sent to orphanages because their families could not care for them. Although Virdot was not really rich, he was able to do something meaningful that provided hope for others and expressed his gratitude. His identity remained a secret for nearly eight decades, but his grandson discovered the letters that were written to him. The story is in the book “A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness – and a Trove of Letters- Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression” by Ted Gup. Knowing my own father’s stories of growing up right after the depression and how he was frequently hungry, couldn’t go to college because he had cardboard in his shoes and needed to support his mom has given me an appreciation for all that I have. I wonder if sometimes, our children (and adults), do not understand how wonderful it is to have food or warm clothes, even if we don’t have the newest cell phone, car or video game.
Would you please join us in helping our children identify the things in their lives to be grateful for? Just discussing three things every night or jotting them down can bring awareness to be grateful. Even better would be to ask relatives to share some of the hard times they experienced growing up and what they are most grateful for now.
You might also want to ask your student how they liked our rewards assembly with Scales and Tales. They got to see and even touch some amazing reptiles! Pictures will be posted on Facebook.
I want to let you know how grateful for all of the caring parents and families that we have at Oakdale!