These kids don’t have mums

If you have been in Texas during the fall, odds are you know the overwhelming ordeal that is, Texas high school homecoming. 

The tradition is that the boy would buy or make his date a mum, and the girl would make or buy her date a garter and they would exchange these prior to homecoming day. A homecoming mum is an arrangement of ribbons, artificial flowers, and often stuffed animals or trinkets that relate to the wearer’s interests and extracurricular activities. The girl will wear the mum around her neck often covering her entire body with ribbons reaching the floor. A homecoming garter is similar to the mum only smaller and worn around the guy’s arm.

Every year Texas high school students spend hundreds of dollars on homecoming mums and garters. 

This is a tradition I have participated in for as long as I can remember. It’s a tradition that I have always enjoyed. As a third grader, I remember longing for the day I’d get to have a mum as extraordinary as the high school girls I looked up to and even last year as a junior in High School I anxiously anticipated being able to wear a large senior mum. This is a tradition that, growing up in Texas, has always been normal to me.

I never thought about how comical the whole idea of the tradition is or how absurd it is to spend hundreds of dollars on something you’ll only wear for a day and then stuff into your closet never to be seen again, until I learned the name of an orphan. This year spending hundreds of dollars on something so excessive seemed outrageous, after knowing how that money could benefit the sixty eight children I fell in love with in Haiti this summer. 

My boyfriend, who also spent a month interning in Haiti this summer and I decided to forgo the whole Texas homecoming fiasco this year because of the impact our internships had on the both of us.

One of the recurring porch talks this summer was the idea of using what is in your hand to defend the orphan. 

This was a difficult concept for me to grasp at first; as I am seventeen, without the abundance of money to give and being in school I don’t have the availability to travel as I would like to but what I discovered that I do have in my hand is a captive audience of nearly three thousand students longing to be a part of something larger than themselves. 

One night, roughly three weeks before homecoming day, I decided that forgoing homecoming without sharing our reasoning would be pointless. Originally my plan was to rally some of my friends together and make small defend the orphan themed mums to wear during homecoming and use what is in my hand to further the dream and vision of Coreluv by informing my peers of the orphan. In no way had I planned for it to blossom into what it did.

With lots of dreaming and the encouragement of my friends and family, we ended up selling two hundred and fifty buttons reading “these kids don’t have mums” raising awareness and money for Coreluv. 

We sold these pins going class to class during school, at the annual homecoming bonfire, and at Wednesday night youth group. Students and teachers, who had no prior knowledge of Coreluv or the orphan, were ecstatic and eager to be involved in defending the orphan, often donating whatever they had even when it wasn’t enough to purchase a button.

Though there were obstacles and with less than three weeks from the event, time was most definitely not on our side, with the help of the Coreluv staff and some amazing ladies, who also have a burning passion for defending the orphan, we were able to use what was in our hands to defend the orphan. 

Savanna Whited

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