• January 26, 2022
 Op-Ed: Thank You for Your Support. Now Do Something Meaningful.

Op-Ed: Thank You for Your Support. Now Do Something Meaningful.

Dear El Paso Business Leader Friend of Education,

First off, let me thank you for being, after all these years, a valued Friend of Education. You have, over the decades, provided tons of verbal and couponic support.

You have told us again and again how much you support strong educators in El Paso and the children they educate.

You have started important sounding committees, formed organizations, joined our PTA’s and in return have received hundreds of low-bid plaques with you and your organization’s name on it. Thank you. You are like a good neighbor.

  • I believe you.
  • Teachers believe you.
  • Administrators believe you.
  • Everyone believes you.

In addition to your words, you have, over the years, handed out more “Free Small French Fries” coupons for good grades than anyone I can think of. Your “BOGO Small Hamburger Combo Meal, ” “Free Extra Small Ice Cream Cone,” and “Free Personal Pizza with the Purchase of a Large Drink” coupons for perfect attendance in the 2nd nine weeks are annually looked forward to by my family. (Dammit Jimmy, you need to earn that free pizza!)

You have, annually, without question, purchased the large advertising space on the baseball field, and have helped us sell my child’s slightly melted one dollar fund raising chocolate bars with your coupon on the wrapper. (Jimmy looks forward to the day that he will be able to claim the “big prize” for selling the most candy bars, which I believe your business provides.) I’m loving’ it!

I thank you for the “teachers get in free if you bring a friend” movie passes. Thank you for educator night at the sporting event where you know that we will bring our families and spend a lot more money than we ever would have on a normal night.

Never mind that the team hasn’t won a game in three years, or Wednesday July 13th is traditionally your slowest night. Thank you for the back-to-school office supply discounts of 20% off, which lowers your markup to only 40%, down from the usual 60%.

You are, in a word, a saint.

Some of you use our students, especially our student football athletes on Friday nights, totally out out of the goodness of your hearts, right after your late news shows.

We don’t mind if you make money off our kids via advertising on these shows. You show the happy cheerleaders and mascots, so it’s kind of good advertising for us too. You keep using our kids and our coaches for your sports segments all year round. We don’t mind you profiting off of their hard work.

Really. It is totally fair and you are a Friend of Education after all. Just do it.

Some of you are big time vendors with our school districts. Districts buy paper by the semi-truck full, food, computers, desks and even entire schools from you. Some of you receive millions of dollars a year from us educators and our districts.

So that free pen we got as our “Welcome to a new school year” with your company logo really tugged on my heartstrings. And thanks for the sticky notes with your phone number printed in the lower left corner. God bless you. I feel like I am in good hands.

I don’t want you to think we don’t appreciate all that goodwill, BOGO and 10% off coupons you send our way. We appreciate anything we can get these days where we have to buy our own school supplies. It is just that I have this nagging idea that perhaps, maybe, you might be able to do something a little more valuable.

Something that might make a real difference in education. Something that a teacher could really use. Something a bit, as they say, more tangible. Maybe something that has a little more impact on education than a free Extra small ice cream cone (coupon expires Dec 31, 2018). Perhaps you could think different?

There are a lot of education conferences that happen around El Paso. Perhaps you read about miniCAST for instance. Wouldn’t it be a real change of pace of you were able to dig a little into your pocket book and pull out $100 or $200 and send a teacher or two to a conference like that?

Heck, for $500 you could send an entire science or math department from a local middle school. $1000 could get you an entire high school Science department. I bet that there are a lot of teachers that could really use a true Friend of Education like that.

And it would have an impact, because the things that teachers learn at conferences get brought back to their classrooms and taught to their students.

Really, I bet you have $100 in your miscellaneous cash drawer. Couldn’t you take that $100 out and send a teacher to miniCAST? Send your kid’s teacher? Your favorite high school teacher? Imagine the long term impact of giving a private scholarship to a teacher.

What do you think they will remember more: A scholarship to miniCAST 2018 or that free personal pepperoni pizza with the purchase of any large drink?

$100. You know you have it.

Want to be a true Friend of Education?

Then do something that is actually educational.

Send a teacher to miniCAST.

Go to the website to find out more.

And thanks in advance for actually being a true education advocate.


Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

Tim Holt


Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

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  • Anyone wishing to sponsor a teacher for miniCAST can contact Tim Holt at timholt@me.com

  • I would love for a local business to send me to miniCAST! How do I sign up? I will even wear a tshirt with the business on it as advertisement if they want me to! The writer has a point about the local businesses that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to supporting education. Like Tom Cruise said “show me da money!”

  • Businesses in El Paso are always in it for themselves. Anything that they do for schools is either a tax deductible business or advertising expense. They don’t lose money by offering free Happy Meals for good grades. It is a write off. Good luck getting them to even give $100 to a teacher to pay for a conference. If it doesn’t benefit them directly they don’t give a S***.

    We beg our local businesses to help our campuses but they just want to offer free hot dogs or some such crap.

    Heck, even the PTA’s won’t spend money on teachers unless it is buying them something like cupcakes. They never buy us anything to make us better teachers. Only fatter ones.

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