I met Dave in eighth grade – my first year of public school. Up until then I had been home schooled. Anywhere else I was confident and cool, but inside those middle school walls I was a foreigner, and outsider, a complete newbie. I didn’t know how to open a locker or where to sit at lunch. I didn’t know what homeroom was or how to get from class to class. It was all very frightening – it was like I was in kindergarten but everyone else was in eighth grade. They all knew how things worked while I fumbled around and tried to act like I knew what was going on. I remember holding back tears every second of that first day.
Dave was in my first period science class. I only remember four people from that class – Jay, because he sat in front of me and was the first drug user I ever knew, Kelly, because she was my table partner and went on to became my friend, Erin, because she was really pretty and popular, and Dave. Dave was the funny guy. I remember him sitting in his chair with ease and cracking jokes that would make our entire class laugh. And while I’m pretty sure I was invisible to everyone else, Dave noticed me. And he was nice to me. I remember being surprised that he gave me attention while everyone else seemed content to ignore me. I don’t even think we talked all that much – all I remember is that he made me feel valuable.
I’m pretty sure Dave asked me to homecoming freshman year, and I’m pretty sure I said no. I was still scared of boys at that point. I would mostly stare at them from across the room. Speaking to them was a rare occurrence. Dancing with one? Fat chance!
Looking back, I wish I had gone with him.
High school went on and Dave and I weaved in and out of different groups of friends. I don’t have many memories with him. We graduated and went our separate ways. I had no communication with Dave for six years – until this summer when he found me on facebook. Oh, the wonders of facebook.
Dave lives in Virginia now and works as a teacher. I still haven’t seen him since we graduated high school, but because of facebook and phones we’ve been able to reconnect.
The day after I was rejected from Teach for America I did some yard work for my mom. I was listening to Coldplay and feeling mostly hopeless. Then I received a text message from Dave. It was a picture of a graphic that said “Campaign for Hope: Nicaragua 2011.” Below the picture he said, “if I donate some shirts will you be able to sell them?”
I was shocked. I never even told Dave about my trip to Nicaragua – I’m assuming he read about it on my facebook or blog or heard about it from our mutual friend Shayna. And I have yet to mention fundraising – I was waiting on a friend to make a video for me (I just found out he won’t be able to do it.)
I was shocked and I was touched beyond belief. That by his own effort Dave not only designed a t-shirt logo, but offered to donate the shirts as well. What a completely selfless act. It made the rest of my day and reminded me that my future is indeed bright.
I told him yes, I would definitely be able to sell them. And so he sent the order in and shipped them to my house.
I’m writing this blog post to let you all know how steller Dave is and to start selling the shirts!
I’ve decided not to set a price for them – donate at your own discretion. Know that the money will go toward the four month trip I am leading in January. I need to raise about $1000 more.
…don’t you think it’d be super fun to run around and live life in one of these? You could sleep in it or exercise in it or even wear it on a really hot date, because really, what’s a bigger turn-on than sending hope to the street kids in Nicaragua? Pun intended.
Right now I have available:
(in adult sizes)
5 – small
4 – medium
3 – large
4 – extra large
If you want to buy a shirt, you can donate the money here. And then email me (Hopenaomi314@gmail.com) your size and address and I’ll ship it to you.
All of this is due to Dave and the wonderful person that he is. He made me feel valuable in eighth grade – 11 years later and he’s still going strong. So thanks, Dave.