Dear Idaho Foodbank,
I thought I'd drop you a note and let you know how things are going. I can't believe it's been almost two years since we've visited! Things are going well for my little family. My 22-year-old son has finally begun a life of his own. He's now living and learning at our local Job Corp. I am so proud of him. My daughter is almost 6-years-old, loves to fish, is starting school in the fall, and is bright as a penny.
Things are going well for me, too. I'm in graduate school, pursuing a degree in Composition and Rhetoric so that I can teach Basic English to non-traditional students, like me. I only have about 16 months of school left. I am looking forward to graduating, finding a job, and getting my family back on the right track financially. It will feel great to have a couple of bucks in the bank account and not have to worry about if I've got enough to cover groceries for the rest of the month.
College has been the most difficult and rewarding journey of my life; working at my small in home daycare, being a wife and a mother, interning when opportunities arose, starting a new career midlife, all while attending school has meant a great deal of juggling and more than a few tears of frustration. But, I'm doing it.
I'm doing it, in part, thanks to you. College is expensive. There is always some unexpected expense that pops up: A computer repair, a book I need to purchase, or a car breakdown. If you hadn't been there to help me out, I'd have been forced to choose between my family going hungry or my dreams of completing my degree. Your help has fed more than just my family -- you have provided nourishment for my soul. Thank you.
I've been thinking about our 10 year history of give and take -- being a young teen mother in need of assistance, to a financially stable daycare owner that created a small foodbank in the garage in your honor and donated turkeys every Christmas and Thanksgiving to a middle-aged woman in search of an education to provide stability for her family -- and I wanted to tell you how much I value our relationship. You've done a lot for me.
Now, I want to do something for you. Every year the daycare children and I grow a garden. We measure the plants as they grow. We count the number of vegetables we harvest. I try to make it a learning experience. This year I thought I might teach them a new lesson -- charity. We are enlarging the garden and have always had bushels more veggies -- tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers -- than the daycare can consume. Could you use this produce? Or maybe you know someone who can? I thought, maybe, with your approval, the kids could bring the food down with me and see where it goes.
I am sorry my gift is so humble this year. I wish I could spend time with you, but I have more on my plate than I can handle, already. Let me know about the produce.