Two years ago, many of you supported the 15 Scriber Lake High School students that Chris Brown and I took to Costa Rica to "save the turtles." The generosity of our family, friends and community really, really touched the whole group.
In August, Chris and I were able to see the majority of the 2008 Costa Rica team at a reunion, and it turned out to be a summer highlight for both of us. We could still hear the excitement in their voices as they recalled meaningful and funny experiences, and listened as they verbalized how this experience had made them more confident in pursuing life goals.
(For those of you who haven't heard of Scriber Lake HS, it's an alternative high school in the Edmonds School District, north of Seattle.)
One girl received a scholarship to study nursing in Pennsylvania and told us that "Costa Rica was the beginning of what I want my life to be." Another student has continued on to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, and also viewed the trip as a beginning for him. Just recently, I received an email from another who told me, "If I did that (set the goal, raise the money and make the trip), I can do anything." Almost all of them had made future plans that somehow connected to the trip. As I drove home, I thought, "If only all of the people who gave could actually see all of this..."
So - what your generosity really did was "save the students." It gave them so, so much. Does it sound corny if I say that it "gave them the world"? Yeah, it does. But it did.
Rita Ireland, soon-to-be guest #15 at the castle at the end of this month, sent me a link to this article in The Herald from Tuesday, describing Chris Brown's effort to make another trip happen this spring (it also gives a summary of what the trip is about):
I am so happy that Chris has taken on this HUGE endeavor this year, and am extremely impressed that he is doing it all by himself. I know that I could have never pulled it off without having him as a partner - figuring out how to tap all of the resources available is a really tough job...so, I want to help him in any way I can.
So, I thought of this: suggesting here that you consider supporting this year's trip.
When we received your checks in our teacher mailboxes two years ago, it was so much fun to go to our "Turtle Tuesday" meetings and watch students open the envelopes and wonder out loud, "But this person doesn't even know me!" in response to a $20 check. When the article ran in The Herald before, many people sent checks anonymously; these acts of kindness were almost incomprehensible to our students. They loved the personal notes, too... people would write things like, "Allow this experience to change your life..."
So, if you would like to donate to these students, Scriber's address is:
Scriber Lake High School
23200 100th Ave. W.
Edmonds, WA 98020
Checks can be made out to "Scriber Lake HS" and you can just write "Attn: Chris Brown" and the name of the student on the envelope.
I can't think of a better person to trust with this kind of thing than Chris - he has been a devoted teacher for over 30 years, and he is still making a huge impact on the lives of teenagers at Scriber Lake.