They sat on our couch. What they were asking would demand time and commitment from all of us, including Tito, our 2-year-old. It would also mean his face and image would be used through the year to promote Spokane Guilds' School. He would be on TV and we would have to make a tour on the day of the penny drive. Would Tito be the poster child for the Guild’s School’s Kids for Kids Penny Drive?
We said yes and it was a transforming experience, and not because Tito became a minor celebrity. Previous to the campaign strangers approached us with concern, meanness and down right rudeness about Tito’s eye. They now saw something about Tito that made them fill with wonder and awe. This was powerful. But the most amazing dimension of our experience as the poster child family was watching the other kids as they were filled with vision that can only come from doing something larger than themselves.
Let me explain. The penny drive works by going into all of the local schools and recruiting other kids, what we most horrendously call normal, to go out into the streets of Spokane and advocate for the Guild School kids and interact with them. They live for something bigger than themselves and grow as humans in the process. The penny drive went beyond the Guild School and went to the center of the soul of our city. To lose it would be a tragedy for all the kids involved.
So, why I am writing? Well, the new proposed panhandling law would kill the penny drive. The idea behind the law may be admirable, but it hurts the community. Make your voices heard at the City Council meeting on Aug. 20. Write your council members. The kids are counting on you. And I mean all of the kids in Spokane.