Monday, September 19, 2011

Toothpaste and Soap

Day 1

It's amazing what you take for granted.  Especially when you have so much.

My friend and I drove to Over-The-Rhine today in downtown Cincinnati to drop off items we'd collected last week at our children's elementary school.  Soap, toothpaste, hand towels, washing detergent.  Nothing special, right?

The collection is a part of the Make A Difference Committee that my friend and I co-chair.  It helps on an as-needed basis with our sister school located in one of Cincinnati's poorest neighborhoods.  School officials ask and we try our hardest to answer.  

Turning onto Vine from Taft, you don't have to be Dorothy to know we aren't in Montgomery anymore.  Broken windows.  Tired buildings.  The neighborhood feels as if it can't buy a break. Today's rainy weather doesn't help.

Miss Georgia from the Rothenberg Academy greets us with a huge smile and welcomes us out of the rain into the cafeteria.  A sweet-faced boy dressed in a light-blue button down shirt and navy pants stands beside her ready to help.

"Are you strong?" I ask.  "You look strong."  He gives a serious nod.

He puts out both hands to grab one of the smaller boxes, struggling a bit under the weight before walking purposefully towards Miss Georgina's office with the new supplies.  Together, my friend, Miss Georgia and I carry a dozen boxes from the car.

She'll use these items to put together take-home bags for each student and talk to them about hygiene.  She'll give the kids toothpaste and teach them about tooth decay.  She'll hand out soap and wash cloths to help her kids with the very basics.

Who knew brushing your teeth was a luxury?  


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