At our Thanksgiving dinner held at the regular Rotary Club meeting in November at the Ramada, a paper was passed around for Rotarians to sign up to buy presents for children in the Early Childhood Program at the North Scranton Head Start School.
Only a few children were left when the paper came to me, so I chose a 5-year-old boy who wanted superhero toys for Christmas. I thought of the many superheroes this boy would probably know all about, like Spider-Man, Superman, and Iron Man. I wondered if anyone ever told him there are real superheroes around him every day and they do not wear capes.
Heroes like his mother and father. Heroes like his teachers. Like the crossing guards. Like the local policemen and firemen.
These superheroes have no ability to climb walls or fly through the air. They are ordinary people who do superhero jobs when a crisis comes. But all superheroes, whether real or imagined, have the same mission: to help others in need.
I will buy presents for this child. Although I am not very good at picking out gifts for a 5-year-old looking for a superhero, I will do my best. I am sure I will not find presents that show the fireman and policeman saving lives and I will have to resort to the imaginative hero dolls that can do anything. I will wrap my gifts with Christmas paper and tie them with ribbons. On the appointed day, I will takein my gifts for the chosen boy, knowing only his first name, his class and what his magic wish is. I will hope the superheroes he wants for Christmas will inspire him.
The teachers from the North Scranton Head Start – the real superheroes – will be our luncheon guests. Lists will be checked to be certain no child is left behind and every child will have a Christmas present.
Red Kettle Campaign
In addition to the individual gifting of presents for the children at Head Start in Scranton, every Rotarian will take at least a two-hour stint, stand in front of the Pennsylvania Liquor Store on Routes 6 and 11, asking passers-by to contribute to the Red Kettle Campaign of the Salvation Army.
Veronica Dende is a new member of Rotary and she recently did her first two-hour red kettle assignment at the liquor store. She brought her two teen children, Chris and Kate, with her. She wanted them to see Rotary in action and she hoped they would get involved. She said one person put money into the kettle and told her when he needed help most, the Salvation Army was there.
Our Salvation Army Kettle program is once again headed by Gail Cicerini and Diane Calabro who monitor the money from the kettle, arrange for someone to be on hand to collect every two hours for every weekend in December, account for all the money collected for the Salvation Army and keep a steady flow of Rotarians ringing the bell for a great cause.
We Rotarians have done this project every year for more than 40 years. We are bolstered by the fact that no other service organization raises this much money for the Salvation Army and all the money raised stays here, helping the poor among us.