Our first gift of onions from, Super Onion Girl.
This year my students and I learned about the power that can come from the generosity of strangers. Next week I meet with a gifted landscaper to go over designs for a new school garden. Out of all the donations our school has received because of a silly onion theft, this garden is the icing on the cake.
Last September during the first week of school our garden bed of onions was stolen. This turned into a big deal because 1/2 of these onions were going to a local homeless shelter and the other 1/2 were going to our school cafeteria. We got national attention. Everyone seemed to have heard about and cared about our stolen onions. It was really quite amazing. We received an equally amazing amount of onions and we donated all 1,ooo pounds of them. They came from as far away as Washington State and as close by as Liberty Maine. We received a generous check from a former Secretary of Health and Human Services as well as funds from the passing of a Boy Scout hat at a troop meeting in Colorado. It was something quite out of the ordinary for my kids to experience. They, we, were dumbfounded.
But the most amazing thing to watch was the response from my students. They were in awe by the amount and variety of generosity we received from so many people, and most of them strangers. “Why?” they asked. “Why do so many people care about us?” I told them it was because it happened to a group of good kids. Kids who care enough to plant, tend, and grow onions to give to others. All those people wanted the kids to know that there are good, kind, giving people out there and that not everyone does hurtful things.
So next week I meet with our final gift. The landscaper who is installing an anonymous gift of a new garden. This is a big deal because our school playground is asphalt. Not the nicest playground by any stretch of the imagination. It has a few raised beds that we garden in but nothing we could call a “real” garden. Very soon that is about to change and to say we are excited by this is an understatement.
Not all strangers are bad. Many, many are awfully good. Good, and kind, and generous.