Way back in November I wrote about the little girl who needed an alarm clock. She and her brother were not getting to school on time and even the kindergartner believed an alarm clock would help.
After sharing the story with the attendance officer, she agreed, and said lots of students needed alarm clocks. I made it a point, from then on, to look for alarm clocks at thrift stores and yard sales. I’ve handed over quite a few to the attendance officer, so much so that she told another school about what her school chaplain was doing and recommended they get their school chaplain to do likewise. Of course, that school chaplain is a friend of mine! I’m sure I’m going to hear about this at the next chaplain’s meeting.
Today, while in the school’s workroom, I saw the little girl’s teacher and asked him about her. He laughed and said,
“I’m not too sure how it worked, but that alarm clock has turned the family around. The kids are never late. The mother has started taking a parenting class and she’s volunteering here in both kids’ classrooms. She’s been a big help.”
I don’t believe it was just an alarm clock. I believe that the kids and the parent realized someone cared about them and was willing to help them. It made a difference. I’m hoping such care and concern about kids and parents will make a difference. Some days I wonder, and then I hear a story like this.
A few years ago, a friend needed a housesitter for her apartment in San Francisco. Seemed a perfect fit for me as I love the city and was trying to figure out a way to get to spend time there. She needed someone to stay for week and take care of her cat, but the plan was that I could come again in a few months to stay six weeks while she went to Europe. This one week was a trial to see if that would work.
Well…it didn’t. There are lots of reasons it didn’t work out, but one of the things I learned about this friend, staying in her third-floor walkup, was that she didn’t get rid of broken things. She just moved the broken object out of the way and replaced it with a new one. In one case, two broken lamps were set aside for a third one that did work. As you can imagine, I had trouble with this habit, especially in a very small apartment where space was of a premium.
Fast forward to now…remember the alarm clock for the little girl who wasn’t getting to school on time? I have been on the lookout ever since for inexpensive alarm clocks for other tardy children. Yesterday, at church, in the thrift store, Terry saw three sitting in a box of items that had just come in from an estate sale. We took them with us.
The lady who had all these clocks has died and an estate sale had taken place to clean out her home. The items left over were donated to the church’s thrift store. She had many beautiful things, many of them appearing to have been unused. I assumed the alarm clocks to be likewise. Today, when I went to clean them up and get them ready to take to school, I found out otherwise.
We had wondered why she had three very similar clock/radios but assumed she had one in each bedroom. The first one I plugged in did not work at all. There was even a lose piece rattling around inside of it. The second one I plugged in worked beautifully. The third one had an issue with the radio. Now I know why she had three that looked alike. One broke and she set it aside and got a new one. When that one quit working, she set it aside and bought the third one, which works just fine. Just like my friend in San Francisco who didn’t get rid of the two broken lamps.
My advice here–throw out the broken stuff. And if it’s not broken, use it. Some day there will be an estate sale…