Kids lined around the building and into the
street waiting for "packpacks" from the Eagles.
School Supplies for Kids...
by Richard Wise (
Hello my fellow Brother and Sister Eagles.
I am constantly amazed by the dedication to service our pledge of
'People Helping People' brings to our community. On August 11th,
2012 the Thornton Eagles #3226 sponsored a back-to-school 'school
supplies for kids' distribution and membership drive at our
clubhouse on 8651 Huron St. Thornton, Colorado. Your Worthy
President Ted Chavez, along with some of our Auxiliary members,
Madam President Barbara Vallejos, Timmy Torres, Betty Horn and
multiple student volunteers distributed a record 400 backpacks full
of school supplies. Most of them in a little less than an hour. Now,
I don't want to belabor the point, but this effort reflects 400
children from our community, receiving backpacks and school supplies
regardless of politics or legal standing.
I interviewed a mother named Melissa Rice whose 4 children each
received a backpack with school supplies. “I thought I would have to
try to get a loan” she told me, “this is close to a hundred dollars
worth of items I could not otherwise afford." Melissa Rice is the
daughter of Cindy Thomas, the first female Aerie member of the
Thornton Eagles. Many of our Eagle members’ children and
grandchildren were served.
In many cases, when I inquired as to the usefulness and satisfaction
of the backpack recipients, the parents were unable to understand my
language. I actually beamed with pride when a particular 6 year old
boy spoke on behalf of himself and his two siblings, in expressing
his family’s gratitude, in perfect English. I was struck by the
strangeness of the situation. The parents difficulty in not
understanding our language, compared with the seemingly natural
assimilation of the children. I can not begin to imagine the
difficulties of “living,” not being 'on vacation,' in a foreign
country. I did live in England for 3 years when my father was
stationed there, but the language was 'almost' the same.
Family after family expressed to me their real and genuine thanks
and appreciation for the 'gifts' they received on behalf of their
children. As members of the Thornton Eagles, you can be very proud
knowing you give true meaning to People Helping People. “You
never stand so tall, as when you stoop to help a child."
All these back backs filled with school
supplies were donated by a non-profit agency called “A Precious
Child”. This agency, with the help of donations from the community,
was able to fill over 4600 back packs to be distributed to as many
needy children through different school districts, organizations and
agencies. We truly appreciate their donation.
My son took me to an “opening day” Rockies game in which warm
weather set the tone for a great day of baseball, reminding me of
the familiar 'hope springs eternal' quote in relation to a winning
season. In baseball, everyone starts brand new. This day was
particularly nice. The opening day ceremonies are filled with
parades, a celebrity throws the first pitch, balloons, color guard,
and a huge American flag covering the field. I remember standing
together with my son for the national anthem, and as the son of a
“lifer” Air Force serviceman I have heard the national anthem
thousands of times, but this day, during the anthem and a fly-over
of F-16s, there was a heart swelling feel of national pride for my
country. It was huge for me...beautiful warm weather, opening day, baseball
with my son, cold beer, national anthem and four F-16s, it was a
great feeling. I got 'swole-up.' If you have ever had that feeling,
perhaps watching a USA Olympian receiving a gold metal and listening
to the Star Spangled Banner, you can almost feel what they are
feeling. All I can tell you is that when I saw the gratefulness and
thanks in these children's eyes after receiving their backpacks,... I