Several years ago when the United States was fighting a war with Iraq, it provided great conversation for my students who were studying our involvement with World War I. During that war and WWII Americans from all walks of life stepped up to do their part in the “war to end all wars.” They planted Victory Gardens, had Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays, and bought US bonds. The fashions of the time even changed due to the government’s request that families not use nylon, for instance, so no more panty hose (a personal favorite).
Why in the world would Americans readily sacrifice so much, altering their comfortable lifestyle for a war fought half a world away? Because they were asked.
When we fought the Iraq War, I lamented to my students that President Bush wasn’t asking anything of us as Americans. No sacrifices were made, so we didn’t really feel a part of it. Of course military families felt connected, and we had tv, but that doesn’t touch a person, stir their patriotism, and gird them for collective sacrifice like giving up on their sugar can!
Why don’t we ask people for help? We all need help, so why not ask for it?
Just the other day I had a friend who informed me that she had been sick all week, her husband was out of town, so she didn’t go to the doctor because she couldn’t leave her child at home alone. I chastised her for not giving me the opportunity to help out. Why else are we friends if not to support each other during times of need?
I truly believe most people are waiting to be asked for their help.
But if our friends, and even our government, don’t ask, it frays the bonds – either of friendship or nationalism. We start thinking we aren’t needed, or that maybe our help wouldn’t be valuable. Humans are built for community; we’re so much more effective together than alone.
So consider this my plea. If you are waiting for the Putnam City Schools Foundation to ask for your help, this is my ask. Would you like to volunteer to help our children? Donate to the cause? Make a planned gift? Come to a football game? Great! We need you there!