Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lesson 79: Doing Good 101

Look at what the power of a small population, dedicated to a great cause can do!  My daughter's school, and one that I am proud to say I am a faculty member of, won a $10,000 grant for the Pepsi Refresh Contest.  We not only won the grant, but came in at the #1 spot and snagged the MOST VOTES IN THE NATION!!!  The slogan for this contest is "Doing Good: 101."

 I think nowadays everyone needs a reminder of how to do that--to "do good".  That is why Pepsi came up with this brainchild---granting money to noble causes.  Pepsi giving back--and I like it.  All you had to do was make a video about your cause, telling what it was and why it deserved some funding.  Finalists were chosen from the submissions, and the public got to vote for their favorite ideas.  According to the website, Pepsi will fund more than just one idea---many causes will get some backing from this project.   Spread the wealth--Eloise likes this, too.  Good job, Pepsi.  That certainly was a great idea even though your pop formula stinks ("pop" Slovenians, is a slang term Pennsylvanians use to describe soda).  Your drink is sugary, tastes flat, and I would opt to drink a Tab Diet Cola over your concoction any day  (Eloise is a loyal Coke addict--and that is Coca COLA, Slovenians--the kind you drink, not the kind you snort).

Finalists were chosen, and our school was notified we were one of the finalists earlier this summer.  Out of a nationwide contest, that alone was noteworthy.  Voting began in July, and people could vote via the Pepsi Refresh website or through texts.  Pepsi, although charitable in this measure, are still in business just the same.  You could gain more votes from purchasing cases of Pepsi and submitting the code for bonus votes.  Genius.  Moms and teachers were on a mission.  We enlisted our tech savvy children as our little army, and we so began pestering people to vote on July 1st.  Never underestimate the power of the PTO.

For 31 long days we kept at it---the barrage of texts, e-mails, facebook posts, and just plain old begging people to vote for us.  We used themes ranging from "Come on, we can do it!---it's for the kids!" to "didn't vote today?--bet you feel guilty--how can you live with yourself?--go vote a be absolved."  OK--I'll admit--the messages of the former tone were issued by my boss Donna, and the latter were from Eloise.  We always need a cheerleader, buy hey, guilt works well sometimes, too.

For all of you who followed this cause on facebook--thank you for voting.  To Pepsi, thank you for sponsoring this contest.  Take a minute to watch the video to see what we were granted.  It would be no fun for me to just tell you--I'm making you do a little work on your own.  I can't help it--I'm a teacher.  You will see my daughter's class about the 25 second mark.  She's the tall one in the back (takes after her mommy).  The articulate boy who is first to speak on camera is one of my students.  Undoubtedly on the path to do something grand with his own life someday, I am glad he was chosen as a speaker.  He is the son of a set of high school era friends and is a dead ringer for his dad.  It's neat to see things come full circle like this.  It is one of the many blessings I receive from being a teacher in the school that I went to as a child.  It is a reminder that time really does pass quickly and we need to "cherish the day" when it is upon us.  They go by in a blink.

So the message I leave you all with today is this:

You don't need to give $10,000 away to do it either.  Surprise your neighbor and mow his lawn, throw some bills into a donation container instead of change for a change, or read to a child.  As Pepsi reminds us--Do Some Good.  Too bad Coke didn't think of that.

Snap!  Did you hear that?  That was Eloise opening up a long overdue Coca Cola in its shiny red can.  I've neglected her for a month.  I got some catching up to do.


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