Filling Up the Appreciation Cup

Teacher Appreciation at Creighton Middle School

The past two years have emptied our country of goodwill, civility and energy to face the rigors of our fast paced anxiety laden society. “Empty” is an especially dangerous condition for certain leaders in our community like emergency personnel, medical workers, law enforcement and teachers. We’re all tired and stressed but these four sectors of society are functioning beyond their limits! When they break down or quit they exponentially affect tens of thousands of people. It’s time to fill up their appreciation cups! 

Lakewood Connects is inspired by a vision statement that states: “Collaboration reduces suffering!” That statement suggests that when business, government, community and faith work together we create exponential positive impact. This vision has led us to find “needs” then create partnerships that execute focused service programs in our community. In 2022 a need we discovered was encouraging educators! 

Mid-March, Lakewood Connects partnered with a local business owner, Brandi Koskie, and a financial management company, Thrivent, with an aim to encourage the staff at Creighton Middle School. Brandi’s daughter attends Creighton and she noticed a lack of teacher appreciation activities there. Upon investigation she discovered that the staff there had not experienced community love in over two years! This is unacceptable! We may not be able to give these teachers more money or a less challenging classroom but we can sure find ways to show them love!

Brandi and Lakewood Connects Director, Reg Cox, met with the Thrivent staff and drafted a plan of action that included bringing a top notch BBQ lunch to the school, served up with personal praise from community members who cheered on staff as they entered the lounge and joined them for conversation during lunch. Anyone can drop off food… but true appreciation is delivered in person! 

A special note here for anyone interested in imitating this work… the Thrivent team stayed in the  lounge that day for 2 ½ hours talking to teachers. They carefully gauged how much presence was appropriate and shared meaningful messages of appreciation with each person who walked in the room. Of course, it’s easier to feel affirmed when you get top quality BBQ! That’s a fact!

Since March Lakewood Connects has partnered with churches, Thrivent Financial/Lakewood and other groups to set up appreciation events in other schools and more are planned! Our community thrives on appreciation, love and goodwill…join us! If you would like info on how to support a local school or how to join us in an upcoming appreciation event, contact us! Let’s do good together!

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