Lesson number one, Yemen isn't pronounced 'YAY, MAN.' I didn't really pronounce it that way, but my less than perfect pronunciation was corrected by my offspring.
Ed and his good friend started a club in high school a few years ago - maybe when they were sophomores (2017?). They called it the Global Humanitarian Club (GHC).
The club description: GHC is a student-run philanthropic organization at (our high school). Each year, members choose a cause and strategize ways they can raise awareness and financial support in the community. GHC has benefitted from its partnerships with other student organizations as well as from the guidance and collaboration of (our local) Rotary Club. This year's focus has been the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen.
Tank and Mini are GHC co-presidents this year.
Translation: Tank berates Mini for not pulling her weight. Mini rolls her eyes to me behind his back while defending her honor. In case you were picturing us all holding hands and singing kumbaya at the dinner table.
image compliments of vector stock
The group's focus is Yemen.
Reg is involved mainly because the group meets before school and he hops in the car when Tank and Mini drive to school and they make him attend. Tonight I heard Mini tell him that he needs to start to contribute through actual words at the meetings if he ever hopes to be on the board. It is a family thing. He's a freshman, he'll get there. Big shoes to fill.
Literally, cuz you know Tank wears a size 15 shoe, right?
Anyway, tonight they hosted a presentation in the auditorium. Sadly, it wasn't well attended. Tank made himself nuts hanging flyers at area libraries and posting on websites, etc. I think most of the people who showed up were relatives of the kids in the group. Still, those of us there learned a lot. I'm impressed with the dedication these kids show to learning about a country with so many struggles and trying to spread awareness.
They showed a short 26 minute documentary (link to the movie in case you are interested, there will NOT be a quiz later) about the issues in Yemen. It was devastating and eye-opening. I feel bad for taking for granted my ability to drink a clean glass of water. 2/3 of the people there are starving. TWO THIRDS!
One of the group members got up and read a poem after the documentary. She happens to be of middle eastern descent and was able to correctly pronounce the occasional foreign words in the poem. We were all given a copy of the poem and it was a beautiful way to wrap things up. Mini said afterwards that the girl's mother came over and thanked the kids for their efforts. Mini said the woman was so moved that she thought she might cry.
A few juniors who only attended one meeting in the beginning of the year showed up tonight to feign involvement. The teacher failed to get the projector like he was supposed to, and Mini was flustered. She almost clocked a non-regular attendee who kept giggling at Mini as she raced around the building in search of a projector. Guessing these usual no-shows probably want to put GHC on their college application. In the fall Mini plans to make an announcement: IF YOU AREN'T GOING TO COME REGULARLY DON'T JOIN THE CLUB. THIS ISN'T PING PONG CLUB OR ART CLUB.
I've never posted a go-fund-me link, and please believe me when I say there is absolutely no pressure to donate. I know I have my charities that I contribute to, and I completely understand that everyone has their limits and that this year has been a financial strain for many. If you are interested in donating, click here for the link. The link is active until the last day of school on May 21st.
In addition to feeling very fortunate, I'm proud that my kids are legitimately interested in learning about the horrifying circumstances that other people face and that they're trying to make a difference.
Maybe I'm also feeling like a bit of a shmuck. In high school, I ditched the math club field trip to the board of trade downtown. Instead a few of my buddies and I kept right on going through the revolving door into the building. We goofed around in the city for hours. We checked out the flag demonstrators at the Art Institute (it was 1989 and someone made art but in order to view it you had to step on the flag, if memory serves) and we ate stuffed pizza at Gino's East. Not gonna lie, it felt a tad like Ferris Bueller's ditch day in Chicago. At the end of the day, we showed up to hop back on the bus. Um, our little stunt didn't go unnoticed. Trouble with a capitol T.
Glad my kids are more devoted and focused than I was. I mean Tank's ski trip was a tad sneaky.