I had hesitated blogging about tonight. Tonight was a big night for me/Water for Christmas/Dancing for Water and I didn't want to jinx it by blogging about it.
I'm sure you've noticed that JB Young Intermediate School has been featured the last couple of days. Of course there is a reason...they are an amazing school that is blessed with creative, loving, generous and fantastic teachers and administrators (full disclosure: the associate principal is my brother-in-law, Jake).
After Jake danced for water he emailed everyone he knew (we ask everyone who dances to do this) and the good people at his school loved the idea. One particular teacher, Jessie, got REALLY excited. Told all of her kids who in turn got REALLY excited. So it was decided...the school would hold a dance. A dance for water.
I can't really put into words what tonight meant to me. It sounds a bit silly, perhaps, that I would be that excited about a junior high dance. But it really was my "dream" for Water for Christmas coming to fruition. I want to build wells, of course, but I also want people to first KNOW about what's going on a world away. REALIZE that people go without such a basic necessity or at the very least go to great lengths to get it.
Particularly people who the rest of the world has written off as not capable of enacting change. Young people, people without "resources". People who don't even know where to start in the "saving the world" idea or feel overwhelmed at the amount of things that need saving.
My point in dancing is to show that EVERYONE can do SOMETHING. Those kids won't be able to build a well today but who knows what they'll be able to do tomorrow. After learning they can be agents of change the sky truly is the limit for them. That is a pretty powerful thing to equip them with. All with water. Make a change locally as well as not-so worldly. I like killing two birds with one dancing stone.
And the kids got it. Oh did they ever! Since Jessie (the aforementioned sweet teacher) caught the bug the students have researched charity: water, talked about water, wrote about water and heard about water. Then tonight 200 kids showed up. Junior high students filled with joy, hope, love and the belief that they could make a difference by dancing.
They did. They not only brought in hundreds of dollars (total amount to be determined tomorrow), but they renewed my hope and admiration in that age group. They were truly an inspiration to me tonight and I hope they got half as much out of it as I did.
For a school that our community has all but written off, they were the ones to open their hearts and minds and let this story of their brothers and sisters in Africa trickle in. And I will be forever changed by it.
On to pictures. Some of the things the kids/teachers put together to raise money:
A snack table that included cupcakes, bottled waters relabeled by student drawings and various other goodies all for sale for $1.
Sheila set up a face painting stand. $1 gets the coolest face paint I've seen!
These administrators volunteered to get pies thrown in their faces for $1. Did I tell you they were amazing?
One teacher brought his Guitar Hero and kids could play for $1.
These teachers signed up to get egged...for $1.
Kids made bracelets that they sold for $1. If a kid bought one, they were allowed to wear hoods during the day. Genious.
More random ones: The doors opening at 4pm sharp. Excited kids.
Leslie and myself eager to get the party started.
The dance started on the bleachers...perhaps that's how they do it now?
Jake getting the party started by just throwing down some sweet moves.
Jake talking to reporters. Yay!
I was seriously jealous of their moves.
Jake entwined in an official dance off.
They showed the videos of Jake, Sheila and the other students.
There were small dancers too (wearing the shirts some of the students made and sold, all proceeds going to WFC!)
And then Morgan (shown here teaching Leslie the "Superman" move). She was most enthused about water. She sold cupcakes like it was truly her business after which she would comment to the buyer "Thanks for saving Africa!" or something similar. Loved her spirit, loved her enthusiasm, loved this picture.
Hope your night filled you with as much goodness as mine did me!