A few weeks ago, kids from a local scout troupe were door-knocking in our neighborhood, asking if they could rake leaves for $5 / bag as a fund-raiser. Sadly, we have a gardener armed with rakes and a leaf blower, and had no leaves to offer them, so I gave them a donation of $20, and wished them luck. I’m not particularly pro-scout, though I was a brownie when I was a kid, but I think kids who are doing anything for a cause should be encouraged.
Besides, they’re so cute and eager at that age.
It got me wondering about the stuff I did when I was in grade school. The Scholastic Book catalogs, the candy sales, the M.S. Read-a-thon. Does anyone still do read-a-thons? And if they do, are they still raising money for research and treatment of multiple sclerosis, or is the cause more modern now. Are kids reading in support of treatment for malignant mesothelioma instead?
I participated in the read-a-thon for several years, but my favorite was the year we lived in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, a cute beach-front town, just up the shore from Asbury Park. I’d solicited all the neighbors, but one of them said he’d only sponsor me if I came and gave a brief report of each book I’d read. I thought that was fair.
I’m a fast reader, so every couple days I’d visit and give overviews of what I’d read so far. I think the neighbor was impressed, at first, and a little concerned for his wallet, by the end, but he kept his part of the bargain, as I had mine.
I kind of miss the days when picking up a book was a way to promote change.