Robin Goldsworthy from the desk of the publisher
On Sunday I attended service at a local church. After the band played, the congregation was shown a video of some of the church members who had traveled to the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The district is similar to Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, populated by many homeless and about as foreign to the Crescenta Valley as you can get.
The group of 36 young people went north to lend a hand, feeding and helping out other permanent organizations in the district. The video showed the group preparing for the trip. Members were very honest about their hesitation and downright fear in taking a step so far outside their comfort zone, but felt it was the right thing to do.
One young man recalled how many homeless people he encountered just walking to the center where the soup kitchen and temporary housing was located. It was overwhelming, especially at first, seeing so many destitute folks. As time passed, the group became more comfortable interacting with the Tenderloin residents, seeing them not as “the homeless” but as people, as one church member said.
For me, it was especially hard to see one of the church members holding a baby, knowing that child had no place to call home.
After the presentation, a member of the group came up to talk a little more about the experience, calling it life changing. It was particularly touching when, on the verge of tears, he reached out to the audience to say thank you to “everyone in this room.” He said that though 36 was the number who climbed aboard the bus, the support of the church community, family members, friends, etc. was also with them and that represented a power that couldn’t be denied.
Looking outside of oneself to see the needs of others can be a powerful experience, but how much more powerful is it to act on what you see? I found that church group to be inspiring because they were brave to take those steps to reach out to those who needed help. Whether someone does that financially, physically or emotionally, it takes guts to get on the bus, train, plane or to just step outside your front door to make a positive impact in someone else’s life.
Another smaller group leaves for Bolivia tomorrow and my prayers are with them.
This week is our Back to School issue, a celebration for many parents and a return to drudgery for many kids. I don’t get a chance to watch TV much, but I remember a commercial a couple of years ago where a dad is pushing a cart through a Staples store, collecting all the back to school supplies that his kids will need. He’s dancing in the aisles as the music in the background, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” is heard while his two children plod along behind him. Hysterical!
In this week’s paper, we have collected information that will make it easier to get back into the swing of things. Everything from the latest trends to introductions of our new principals can be found. For those interested in private education and haven’t yet decided where they want their children to attend, pages 11, 12 and 13 have information on some of the most prestigious schools in the area, plus fun tips relating to the school experience.
I know that I start this school year with an air of melancholy. Our youngest son is beginning his senior year at Crescenta Valley High School; he’ll be graduating in June, which seems so far away but I know that it will pass quickly.
And a reminder: public schools are back in session on Aug. 30, so be prepared to leave a little earlier because you know what that means: traffic!
If you have kids at CVHS, I’ll see you at Back to School Night on Sept. 16. Don’t forget that Prom Plus will have a barbecue, so you can dine then dash to classrooms.