I recently blogged about the diversity here in Dearborn and how much I enjoy it. There is one thing that I enjoy MORE than the diversity and it’s the spirit of the people who live here in Dearborn. November brought about many thanks for what we have. Many of my friends posted on Facebook one thing a day that they were thankful for last month. At this time of year, we find that many people GIVE back to others less fortunate or those that are on trying times. I have to say that as much as it’s heightened in December, Dearborn gives back all 12 months of the year.
Being a Dearborn Rotary Club member (3 years coming up in March) has shown me what a wonderful community we all live in. The amount of work this group puts in each and every month to make things better for all is truly amazing. We give away thousands of dollars in scholarship money to Dearborn high school seniors every year but in the process of fundraising for these scholarships, we provide a great experience for others. At this time of year, if you happen to drive through the Wayne County Light Festival, you’ll notice that Santa is available for your children to meet and get a photo with him. That service is provided by the Dearborn Rotary Club with assistance from Fairlane Sunrise Rotary, the HFCC Rotaract Club and our various high school Interact clubs. I was fortunate enough to work “Santa Snaps” on November 30 and I just love seeing these kids get so excited for Santa. I love the spirit that the families bring.
Of course, most of you have heard of the Dearborn Goodfellows Paper Drive that took place November 30 and December 1. For the 4th year in a row, I was also able to participate in that on the first. Even though MOST have already given, several people still gave again! The smiles on people’s faces when they saw us in Leon’s front entry way was wonderful. Even a few people shared how the Goodfellow’s helped them out when they were children. These are the stories that really tug on your heart and make you feel like you are doing the BEST thing in the world, making a difference. There isn’t anything better than giving of your time to make a difference in someone else’s life. Once again, the spirit of Dearborn was prevalent. On Friday, December 21, we’ll all get together again to box the presents for each family in need. This year, I get to bring my son with me to see what his mom has been doing for the last 3 years and he gets to experience the joy of giving back.
But there’s so much more to the Spirit of Dearborn. Each person we come in contact with brings something into our lives. Whether it’s a lesson in patience, kindness, compassion or persistence just to name a few, we can be rest assured that we will learn something new every day from the people who live, work and play in Dearborn. I’ve spent years volunteering at the schools, helping other parents that have children with special needs like myself, helping other schools build strong PTAs and building bridges within our diversity. I have come to meet many people who have taught me all of those lessons and many more. Now that I work for the schools and am in 3 different buildings, I have met even more people. I get to see more teachers and staff than I ever did before. It truly gives me a new found understanding of the TRUE spirit of our staff. Being a parent in the schools really doesn’t show you everything. Working in the schools, you really and truly understand just how hard and dedicated these people are to educating our children day in and day out. Because of my involvement with the schools as a volunteer and now an employee I have to say the BEST part about my time learning from all of them is the friendships I have made along the way. I can honestly say that I enjoy each and every one of my friends from all over Dearborn. Whether we celebrate the same holidays or not, our true hearts are what make the biggest difference to each other. The spirit of Dearborn is from border to border and I’m very happy to have experienced that and am looking forward to continuing to enjoy it.
One of the definitions of Friendship is – a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection and loyalty.
WOW! That sums it up very well. Since moving here in 1998, I have made many friends. But there are some that you have a deeper connection with. It’s amazing what a small group of people can do for each other. The support, understanding and acceptance that we give each other is beyond anything I have ever seen. The true sense of the word spirit lives within these friends’ hearts. They give to each other their time, shoulders, ears, words, and love. They give guiding words to help them through any life situation, but acceptance for who they are and what they do. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends from all over Dearborn even though some have moved away and others don't live here anymore. They say that you make true friends when you are in school. Well, I did. But it wasn’t when I was “IN” school, it was while I was volunteering in school. Thanks to you, my true friends, for showing me what the spirit of Dearborn is all about!
Enjoy your time with family and friends as this year comes to a close. If you are celebrating the beginning of Hanukkah, I wish you the joy this season will bring to you and yours. If you are celebrating Christmas like I am, enjoy the true reason for the season, the birth of Jesus and all that He did for us and our sins. For the rest of you who celebrate a different holiday, whether it’s coming up or just passed, I wish you many blessings at the end of 2012! FOR ALL OF YOU, I wish you heartfelt love and understanding in the New Year. May 2013 bring you to a new level of appreciation for those around you and all of their diversity. Embrace the city of Dearborn and its people. We are the SPIRIT OF DEARBORN.