Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Community

As a new resident of Wicomico County and the City of Salisbury, I am learning every day more and more about our new community.  Here are some things I would like to share with you:
  1. The murder/manslaughter crimes in this city are up 50% from last year ALREADY and the year is not over.
  2. In Baltimore City, 1 in 4100 people are murdered.  In Salisbury, 1 in 4000 are murdered.  Yes, that means that I am more likely to be murdered in little Salisbury than in Baltimore!
  3. Every week in the city limits of my new city, there is an average of: 38 thefts, 16 burglaries, 8 assaults, 1 murder, 1 rape, 3 robberies, and 3 motor vehicles stolen.  All of the averages except murder have gone down in the last year.
Even though I have only lived here for a few months, my career and sanity is dependent upon the safety and well-being of our community.  Why, do you ask?  Because I see it EVERY DAY.  I teach hundreds of students per day and I see first hand where they come from, what they do after school, where they live, and who their parents are. 

For some reason, I feel the need to help.  If I am going to be a long-time resident of this community and city, I want things to change.  I really believe that every bit can help.

Here are the things that I have already invested time/money/resources in:
  1. I give money out of each paycheck to the United Way.  I hear things like, "Well, the United Way is basically helping people who need to get off their butts, get jobs, health insurance, a home, etc."  I agree that those things need to happen.  I also know that even if those people do not choose to make those decisions and their needs are being met by taking money out of my paycheck, they still need it.  And I have it to give.  They have feelings and families, too.  And I also see something that most people don't see... their children.  And how homelessness and no food affects a 5-year old.
  2. The Blood Bank of Delmarva.  I am a contributing member.  Our community needs blood donations to help the sick people of our city get in and out of the hospitals faster.  So I give.
  3. Food Bank donations.  At the grocery store, I pick up some small non-perishable items and place them in the bin at my school.
  4. Being a mentor.  We have this great mentoring program in Wicomico County.  I am a mentor to a 2nd grade student at my school who desperately needs some stability in his life.  He gets to spend a few hours per week in my classroom with me.  The Mentoring Project also sets up outside activities for the mentors to do with the kids, like go to the zoo.
  5. Be an advocate for my school and my students and my classroom!
  6. Teach my students about character and the consequences of getting involved in violence and gangs.
  7. Trying to be knowledgable about the current political candidates for our county, city, and state, so that I can make good voting decisions next month.
I am not going to go around paroling the streets of the projects to prevent gun violence, but I am doing what I can.  Can you suggest any other practical things I can do to help my community?

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post. My best friend is a teacher in a town with high poverty and it's amazing the things she does for her community.

    I really should step up and donate more. I do occasionally but it needs to be a routine otherwise, who am I really helping?

    Thanks for writing this!