This past month I’ve volunteered at two carnivals in neighborhoods in Atlanta.One wasn’t really for Halloween; it was a neighborhood bake and craft fair in the area where the charter school that my school has an affiliation with is.
I don’t know what income the housing area is, but my guess would be low. The fair consisted of several rented carnival games, with dollar store prizes. The food was homemade by the neighbors and varied in quality. It was good, but it made me miss festivals at home with my brother catering with his huge grill. Still, the kids there had fun and the neighborhood had a good time.
Today I volunteered at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Georgia’s Halloween carnival at Marist. It was obviously better sponsored, prizes from TV stations (we had to remove the “So Sexy—Court TV” wristbands from the prize options!), Mellow Mushroom pizza, ice cream (no sugar added).
I don’t even think it was a higher budget thing, because my guess is that much of it was donated, although the insulin pump display people may have paid for their tables. It was just interesting to see the difference between the two carnivals, both of which were for very good causes with very cute kids but in very different neighborhoods with extremely different demographics.
I have to say, I have a great empathy for the kids with diabetes. My sorority sister who has it (the instigator of this project) and I often commiserate about the woes of healthcare problems, but she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eleven, so she wasn’t affected as a young child. But these kids know their health problems as well as I knew not to play rough at recess. To watch out for stairs.
But they’ll make mistakes. Eat the wrong thing. Fall down. And their moms will learn that they can’t always look out for them. And they’ll one day, maybe at eighteen in a dorm room somewhere, have the realization that while it may never go away there will come a time when managing it becomes second nature and things will be okay.
And my heart breaks in the same way it does when i speak to the mother of the little boy who has Dermatosparaxis, because I wish they didn’t have to do it. But, then again, maybe they too will have that little bit of pride that comes from learning how to better take care of a body that attempts to foil your every move, you know?
This blog started out being about Atlanta neighborhoods and demographics, and it turned into disability-ness. What do you expect from the gimp kid? :D
FYI, my cough’s much better and my arm is almost better. Still swollen, but the lack of pain sings the praises of the antibiotic! Woo!