Last week, I had the unique opportunity to be invited to Hershey for 2 days for a “cookie swap”. There will be more on the Cookie Swap tomorrow (along with a giveaway), but I have to get this post up now…because what I learned in my time at Hershey has honestly changed my life.
Hershey – you think it's a just a chocolate bar and some kisses..right? Yeah – you are wrong! Hershey is help. Hershey is hope. Hershey is saving children!
Let me ‘splain…no there is too much….let me sum up (snaps if you know the quote!).
When Milton Hershey was alive, he couldn't have children with his beloved wife, so they decided to start a school for orphans to give them a chance at life. More than 100 years later, the Milton Hershey School helps at-risk children and change lives for the better!
(yeah Min – that's the PR pitch…why are you writing about this?)
As part of my Hershey trip, we got to have a Cookie Swap with children from the Milton Hershey School. I have heard of the school before but never had the full details. Then I spent some time with the children of the Milton Hershey School. The children I met, talked to and cuddled with?
One was at the school because their grandmother could no longer look after them after their father was incarcerated for killing their mother
Three boys were the children of a mom who legally immigrated here from one of the “Diamond slavery countries” and told her children that if they screwed this chance up, they would have to return to Africa and see what REAL suffering was.
Ethan (the boy that I became most attached to, because everything about him reminded me of Jonathan), told me that he heard his sister was trying to get in to the school and he hoped she did because he hadn't seen her for 2 years and he really missed her.
Yeah – I only cried a little! (where “a little” = heading to the bathroom for a tissue every 15 minutes)
The Milton Hershey School is awesomeness. They provide free tuition, food, clothing, medical and dental and housing to at-risk children. AND, if a child graduates from the MHS with at least a 2.5 GPA, you know what they get? A $80K scholarship to college! What they are doing for children is nothing short of a miracle.
Best of all? Nothing in this post can be construed as a fundraiser for the Milton Hershey School. You could be a gadzillionaire and offer to donate $10 million to the Milton Hershey School and they would have to turn your donation away. The way the Trust was set up, the ONLY way to support the school is through purchasing Hershey products.
The strangest thing?
We were talking to the PR guy for the MHS and he was talking about going on “recruitment drives”. The first thing in my head? “What do you mean, you have to have recruitment drives? With what you are doing for in-need children, you should have a waiting list!!!!” Well, it turns out, not enough people know about the incredible opportunity that is the Milton Hershey School. You can learn more about it here.
Ethan will stay in my mind forever….
…….and he is the reason that I will stick to Hershey products from now on!
Full Disclosure: Hershey paid for my trip to Hershey and never requested that I write a single post. In addition, my numbers may be a little off. I posted that you get a $80K scholarship for a 2.5 GPA, but it may have been a $88K for a 2.0 GPA. I'm tired and too lazy to look up if my stats are NOT as good as I reported….get over it! Hershey is the most awesome company that I have ever worked with and I can't wait to work with them again! (Ahem – no offense to the other PR companies that I have worked with…but you CAN take a lesson from Hershey! Get an Ethan of your own and you will inspire the same loyalty in me!)