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A Noble Profession

May 19, 2013 12 comments
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©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

“….He doesn’t know what lies ahead

But he’s always willing to try,

And he hopes he’s always alert to hear

The sounds of a little child’s cry…”

~ Walter J. Hall

This weekend a local firehouse had a party and invited a few close friends.

Many came on foot but most rolled into town, all donning their Sunday Best. They were sparkling and shiny and ready to party!

Pride and dignity accompanied them.

They came to help our Hughsonville Fire Company celebrate 100-years of service. One-hundred-years. It was a sight to behold, one that stirred emotion and awe; something you may only have the opportunity to see once-in-a-life-time, at a centennial celebration.

Among the rolling revelers were The Beast, The Beast from the East, Big Mother II, Foam Boy and Always Ready

The Beast

The Beast
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

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The Beast From The East
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

Big Mother II

Big Mother II
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

Foam Boy

Foam Boy
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

Always Ready

Always Ready
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

On hand and in honor of this celebration were a few “old-timers” as well…

Old Timer

Old Timer
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

1952

1952
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

Millbrook

Millbrook
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

The trucks were impressive. The men and woman were inspirational. Are admirable. Often the first to respond to an emergency scene, Firefighters arrive ready to react. These men and women endure rigorous training and are expected to maintain a calm demeanor in the face of crisis, instantly assess a situation and make sound decisions on how to proceed. Many of them do this on a volunteer basis and do not get paid.

Who chooses such a physically demanding career that requires rock-solid resolve and the ability to summon a courage that surmounts all traces of fear in a moment’s notice?

They are the moms and dads at any given PTA meeting, the neighbor who keeps odd hours, a friend whose always working on the weekends. She might be your sister or a cousin. He could be your son or …

My nephew, Peter. ©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

My nephew, Peter.
©2013 Karen Szczuka Teich

…my nephew.

Whoever they are in your life, be grateful they are in your life.

One day, they may save your life.

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It Takes A Village And A Can

December 9, 2012 17 comments

villiage

It takes a village.

~ original origins unknown

I love this phrase because it’s true.

Indeed, when raising children, it takes a village. Or a neighborhood. Or a sgoyaredchool. Or a group of amazing teachers. Or in this case, a can. Well, maybe a few hundred cans. Okay, in this case, it took 900 cans.

Goya cans that is and I’m not talking about raising children exactly, although the concept behind the phrase made famous by Hilary Clinton in 1996, is the same and the idea that when people come together to help each other to do good things, good things get done, is the implication.

In this case however, I’m talking about it taking amazing teachers and awesome, eager teams of Kindergarten through 12th grade students creatively coming together to feed hungry people in our community. (And 900 cans of course.)

They’re doing this by building incredible sculptures entirely from canned food.

The program they are participating in is called Canstruction® and, it is brilliant.

This is the first Canstruction® Jr Hudson Valley event in our region and it’s being presented by my daughter’s school. Several other schools in the area are also participating. The academic, social and humanitarian components of this project will no doubt serve to enable these outstanding students to absolutely make a difference in someone else’s life this Holiday Season. 

That is what it’s all about. Isn’t it?

It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade

But in our world of plenty, we should spread a smile of joy!
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

~ Do They Know It’s Christmas

For several weeks my daughter’s 6th grade class has been working with their math, science and humanities teachers along with an artist to come up with a diagram of a structure they could build using canned food. This is progressive, project-based learning at it’s best.

Their efforts culminated in 5-hours of  precisely stacking nearly 900 cans to create this melting masterpiece:

Melting Snowman

Melting Snowman

For the next week or so, this and other wonderful creations will remain on display at our local Galleria. Red bins in front of each structure will collect more cans for donation to a local soup kitchen and food bank from visitors and onlookers.  The bin with the greatest number of cans at the end of the week will receive the coveted “People’s Choice” award but the real winners in this competition are each and every student who participated. Through awareness, guidance, teaching and love these students will take with them the pride and joy of knowing their efforts helped collect thousands of cans of food that will feed hungry people in our community at Christmas time.

They are making a difference.

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It takes a village. Or a neighborhood. Or a school.

Or in this case, a group of amazing teachers and awesome students.

Oh, and 900 cans.

Or — all of the above — because when people come together to do good things,

good things get done.

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The World


There’s A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You’ll Find There’s No Need
To Cry
In This Place You’ll Feel
There’s No Hurt Or Sorrow

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living

Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

~ Heal the World

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One Proud 6th-Grader

Photo Credits 1 – 2: Google Images

Photo Credits 3 – 6: KarenSzczukaTeich&www.Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

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