Two charities in one week! I'm totally becoming Bill Gates.
During my past few runs (small jogs), I've been listening to This American Life's two part story on Harper High School in Chicago.
Stories about kids in difficult situations and the teachers who try to help them really get to me. This broadcast follows the children (really, teenagers), their parents and teachers as they try to survive (literally) during a five month period last year in one Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. All the stories are thoroughly engrossing.
The principal of the school has a greeting that she says in the halls - "I appreciate you in advance!". I love the sentiment because many of these kids are not appreciated or their appreciation is conditional. I'm going to try to appreciate more people in advance - even though the misfits sometimes make it difficult.
In one of the segments the producers discussed Harper as a "turnaround" school. The past few years, Harper High School has received additional funding that has gradually decreased as the school has made progress. However, next year they will not receive any turnaround money - essentially, their turnaround period is over and I guess they should be cured. It's really amazing what $1 million can do at a school. This week I donated $15 to Harper High School.