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By Jesse Utz 

Gems in the Coulee: Operation Red Apple

Jess Shut Up


Most of you know nothing about a secret operation that is going on at Lake Roosevelt. But I am about to let you in on an undercover operation that has been lifting the spirits of staff and blessing everyone from bus drivers to teachers at the school.

A secret group of community members has been bringing lunches, snacks and, yes, red apples to everyone at LR randomly throughout the year. Birthdays are never forgotten either, with little tags on a treat wishing you well on your special day. More than one staff member has said that this group of do-gooders has brightened their day with the breathtaking spreads and generosity showed to all the staff.

I happen to know, from a good source, that the reason this group decided to bless school district employees is that they sometimes are overlooked. They dedicate their lives to helping our children become great, well-educated adults and sometimes get very little recognition. Stress is a key part of their jobs and some days you see them scratching their heads at the end of the day, with a looks on their faces of “why am I doing this again?” But Operation Red Apple (ORA) is changing that. They are going to the heart of the situation and showing that the employees at Grand Coulee Dam School District are wanted and valuable. And that is just what we all want from any job we do: to be recognized and appreciated. Op. Red Apple is succeeding as far, as I can tell, and setting the tone for how we all want to be treated.

Recognition is good and, no, I am not going to blow their cover. I do know who their leader is but it would be in poor taste for me to blow the operation out of the water today. Besides, we still have half of a school year left. I am writing this because the members of this little group are making a difference in not only the lives of staff but that generosity gets passed one to the students in the classroom. A happy teacher is a good teacher, and Operation Red Apple is doing their part not only for the staff; their work reflects the community as a whole.

For every action there is a reaction. I learned that once at this very same school. So as the members of ORA present a gift to staff, making that member a little happier and less stressed, they in turn pass that happiness on to the kids they work with. Then those kids go home a little happier and at ease with their lives and pass that on to moms and dads. Mom and dad go to work and seem a little less worried and do a better job at work, passing some smiles on to fellow workers. It can go on and on.

So yes, ORA is a Gem in the Coulee. One little red apple can make a difference in a whole community. Thanks to all the people involved in the operation. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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