Saturday, April 19, 2008

Double wow

Want to hear a nice addition to the laptop saga?

I emailed my information to the woman who said she'd donate a laptop to my student. She replied that, get this, both of her parents went to (and met at) the school where I teach, where D attends. Coincidence? (The sad part of this story is that the laptop donor is currently in Chicago for her father's funeral.)

I'd like to thank everyone again for their very generous contributions! I am going to put together a list of all the contributors (with names or aliases) and post it in the next couple of days. Several people have told me that I'm doing something wonderful, and I have to disagree. The heroes of this story are all the people who came forward with their money and well-wishes. None of this would be possible without you, so thank you again.

I really can't wait to break the news to D and his class. Next Friday!

Now, after a lot of thought, I've narrowed down the options for what to do with the donated money, since we're good on the laptop. First, yes, we'll make sure the machine is insured and has the proper software. As far as a printer goes, I have a brand new one sitting in my closet, unused. I'll give him that. The bulk of the money, though, will go to one of the following:
  1. Give D the responsibility to decide how to best use the money to make his school and/or community a better place. The project(s) or donation must somehow deal with education. Hopefully, the project can become longterm and self-sustaining. Possible name: D is for Difference.
  2. Put the $800+ into some sort of college fund for D. It was, after all, donated with him in mind.


Bill said...

I'd give him the choice. If he's strapped for cash for college, that seems a fine use for it. Or he can donate it. He could use it to go to college, get some money and then donate to a good cause.
Or donate to the "buy bill beer fund" which always needs cash.

a said...

Don't forget he needs a new jacket too! ;)

jenska said...

Hmmm...that's a tough one! I like the D is for Difference plan because hopefully he can be creative and that amount of money will actually grow to so much more.

I'm sure the money would help for college, too, but it sadly, won't go very far in that arena. Has he already been accepted to a school, or is he planning to apply somewhere soon?

appopt said...

He's a junior, so he won't start the application process for at least four or five months. Here's why I prefer "D is for Difference": First of all, as jenska said, the money might grow into something more. Plus, I have a feeling D could end up with a full-ride scholarship. He's a solid student, involved in a lot of activities, with a great GPA and a decent ACT score (well, he will after he takes the test next week), who will have lots of amazing letters of recommendation from teachers. Plus, he's mature beyond his years. I wanted to write a post on this, but I might as well do it here:

On Thursday, before I pulled the trigger on this whole thing here on the blog, I took him aside and asked him how he was doing.

"I'm fine, I guess," he said. "I mean, on Tuesday I wasn't fine. And I was wondering if I'd be more upset about it if I had bought the computer. But, no, I'm more upset because it had been given to me. That actually meant something, instead of me just buying it. But, I don't know, I'll live. And whoever took it, if they sold it or are using it, I just hope they're happy."

After he said that, I posted the PayPal info on my blog and you guys took over.

appopt said...

On the other hand, I like the scholarship idea because it would be a whole lot easier for me! I'm a lot lazier than any of you might think. ;-)

jenska said...

Well, work with him on it -- make it his project. You could be there as an adviser, and as the cash holder until the project is mapped out.

maritza said...

Two thoughts on the options for D, both of which are good.

1) Even if he does get a full ride, he will have expenses his family can't pay for and financial aid may not cover, like transportation if he's going farther away. This was a huge issue for a number of CPS high school grads I've known over the years. So that money might really important to have around, especially in the first year.

2) If he decides to go for D is for a Difference, you might want to talk with the people at the Mikva Challenge about how to do it. They do a Youth Innovation Fund where high school students read proposals from other high school students and decide which ones to fund. They are at

Karla said...

I agree that, even if he gets a full ride, there are lots of other expenses he won't have money to cover, like clothes, supplies and pocket money.

Or, you could split the difference: let him keep some of it, and use the rest to do some good for someone else.

As a donor, I'm unconcerned with how the money is used. I'm just so happy D is getting a good quality machine to replace what was stolen. I had my purse stolen two years ago, and it was a royal pain in my behind to replace everything I'd lost.

ms g said...

I can't decide.

For what it's worth, since D already has an in here, and you're taking off at the end of the year and won't be able to report, maybe make the cash (maybe give him 1/2 no strings attached, but the rest of what's been collected, and possibly future allocations) contingent upon him keeping us updated? Maybe he could give us--and anyone directed to his blog--a student's perspective?

Pass the torch of keeping us in tune to the youth themselves?

Give him the opportunity to see that his feelings/opinions/experiences are valued?

Just a thought.