This is the second part of a series by NCTE member Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson and Donna Donner published Friday, January 8, Teachers Sharing and Caring, Part I.
One day during a workshop lesson, Abby, a member of “Tiger Paws” who usually doesn’t say a word, held out a card towards Donna and said “here, my dad said call him.” As she brought the card to her eyes, Donna read “Hillside Warehouse and Shipping.”
“Why does your dad want me to call him?” Donna asked.
“I don’t know,” Abby whispered and went back to her silence.
Donna asked Amalia, the mom helping her with logistics, to call Abby’s dad. Both women were afraid Abby just volunteered her dad for something he knew nothing about. After Amalia called Mr. Coffman, she excitedly called Donna and confirmed what they had both hoped. He wanted to help. He would ship the books 1,413 miles away, for free. After sharing the news with the kids, tears were on more cheeks than just Donna’s. The kids got it; this was bigger than them. Now the community was rallying together.
One thing led to another and all shipping materials were donated. Snacks and drinks and pizza were donated. A packing party was planned. While the kids divided the books by age categories two local newspapers got wind of the “Tiger Paws 4 a Cause” and walked around taking pictures and interviewing students.
So on Friday, December 4th, as the kids waved goodbye to the truck carrying hope and opportunity to their new friends, they all stood and waved. The gesture that started with the gift of a Little Library in rural Minnesota, from Kathryn’s son Thomas, turned into a gift for 27 kids on the East Coast. The smiles on their faces and the excitement in their voices on that unseasonably warm Friday, as the truck drove off, was proof enough that if you give children the opportunity to do good, good is exactly what they will do.