Not Anxious To Get Out

Close up of female hands pull out weeds from ground garden.

A few months ago a day like today was considered fabulous. After six weeks of warm weather this morning feels like the middle of January. My agenda calls or a day in the garden yanking native perennials from the annual beds. As I have said before, there is something special about neat and prim flower beds. After this post it may be warm enough to head out into the back yard and do the job. When I awoke the temperature outside was sixty degrees, Oh me what will I do? Put on a sweatshirt and stop complaining like a wank.

The idea of sitting in the house today while reading a book sounds very appealing, but that is not to be. I know that once I finally shoe-up and head outside I’ll stay out until the last evil weed is in the big blue yard waste bucket. I’ll be out by ten and in by noon. Oh yeah that could mean more food! and coffee too!

I love the garden, but hate the work. When it becomes I love the work but hate the garden I know I will have achieved a new level of consciousness.

Yesterday, I fell completely off the KETO wagon at the OASIS Twenty-fifth anniversary cook out celebration. OASIS stands for Orland Area Sight Impaired Support a group of people who are blind, partially blind, or going blind who band together to discuss the trials and tribulations of living in the dark. The Frankfort Lions Club has adopted OASIS as our project to help the sight impaired of the community. Back in 1926 Helen Keller (blind, deaf, and mute) at a Lions Convention challenged the Lions to become the “Knights of the Blind.” Lions accepted the challenge and it remains a pillar of our service. Since then we have added several more pillars to keep the house from falling down, Hunger, Environment, Sight, Diabetes, Childhood Cancer. These five are in addition to the pillars of community, disaster relief, and world-wide disease. There is never a time when we don’t have someone or something to be helping. Sometimes it is monetary assistance, and at others like this OASIS event it was with our presence and hands-on assistance. COVID slowed us down a bit on the hands-on assistance type projects but requests for monetary help kept coming. At the same time we were stifled in our ability to raise money. Thankfully, all that has changed and we are ramping up activity to one hundred percent of normal. In other words, if you see a Lion in front of a store with a bucket, please drop a few bucks in. If you see an ad for a Lions pancake breakfast, please go have breakfast.

Time to go pull weeds.

You Could Be a Winner

It has been awhile since I posted last. It has been a busy month for me as a husband, father, grandfather, Lion, and friend. Let me start with one of my most favorite passions, the Lions Club. Throughout my life I hated the task of raising money for causes. For the past seventeen years I have slowly evolved into a merciless machine with my handout asking people for monetary help. It is the only way a Lions Club can function. As much as I hate asking people to donate I have forced myself to do it with a passion.

Here is my latest appeal letter:

Dear Dan & Vicki:        

I am double vaccinated and mask free as I write this, and hoping the terror of COVID19 has ended for you as well. The year has certainly fulfilled the famous Chinese curse “May You Live in Interesting Times.”  Last week the Frankfort Lions Club got news that Frankfort’s Fall Festival is back on after a year off. We will return to holding our Wurst Fest with German music, food, beer, and frivolity. Our raffle still has a ten thousand-dollar first prize and the ticket will allow two people into the Beer Garden to enjoy the fun.  We limit ticket sales to two-thousand.

In spite of COVID the Lions kept meeting via Zoom, then part face to face and Zoom, then back to Zoom only, and then back to Zoom and face to face, and finally face to face. When we were finally cleared to have socially distanced meetings with the entire club our members turned out in droves. Everyone was starved for fraternization. We are all anxious to begin selling raffle tickets again to serve our community. 

COVID didn’t stop us from serving though, we only changed our processes. Instead of buying, collecting, packing food for delivery, we distributed grocery store gift cards mask to mask by handing an envelope through a cracked door. We ran a used winter-coat collection and then a sock drive. We collected 735 coats and 23,000 pairs of socks. We provided some people in need with comfort. We raised money by using matching grants from our employers and receiving donations from local businesses. We kept strict control over our donations so as not to drain the treasury, and we kept serving throughout. In spite of all our controls we ran short of money, and the time has come for me to ask you to buy a twenty-dollar raffle ticket so we can rebuild our treasury and continue to serve. Since we had such a poor fund-raising year I ask you to stretch and consider buying two or more tickets this time.

Please make your check for twenty dollars or more to “Frankfort Lions Charities” and send it to:

Frankfort Lions Charities

21334 Brown Drive

Frankfort, IL 60423

I will complete the ticket and send you the stub which is your passport into the entertainment garden.

Thank you for your support over the years. Without you the Frankfort Lions Club would not be as successful as it is.

Respectfully yours,

This is a real thing. If you choose to send me money for a ticket I’ll be happy to include you in the fun. Just remember to send me your name, address, and phone number. It would be a shame if you win and we had no information to get the prize to you.

Socks, Socks, and More Socks

A couple of months ago I gave my Lions club the idea to collect socks for homeless people. I never in a million years imagined I would get the response that happened. We service the needy people of our community through a local township food pantry. I was surprised to learn that in a community as upscale as Frankfort, that there are 350 souls registered with them. My original proposal was to give each client of the food pantry a new pair of socks. The club board of directors gave me a green light to go ahead.

My first step was to solicit volunteers from the membership to join in on the fun. Fifteen Lions signed up for the project. We met virtually using ZOOM, and I explained the goal, one pair of new socks to every client of the food pantry. In my training as a manager during my working years it was highly recommended to use teams to do a job. Teams work smarter and their collective brainpower allows them to make better decisions.

Our first effort was to discuss how we would deal with buying socks, the vendors, getting quotes and discounts, etc. We switched the subject to how we would physically separate pre-packaged bundles of socks to donate. That discussion led to a new discussion of the goal. Why not save the effort of separating by giving each person a six-pack of new socks? All along, it was my intention to have the Lions purchase the socks and my emphasis was on selling a proposal to the board for how much money to ask for. That’s when the brainstorming went into high gear and in a matter of minutes we shifted from the Lions Club buying socks to getting the public to donate socks. The team loved this idea and in a matter of a few minutes had formulated a plan to get a sock collection underway.

One team member worked as a substitute teacher for the local school district. He thought this would make an exciting project for the school kids and would also teach a lesson. The remainder of us suggested various businesses to ask to be collection points. Another volunteered to spread the word on Facebook, and our website, another raised her hand to design a flyer. The wheels were turning, no, I mean they were spinning and smoking.

We met in another week, again virtually, and reviewed progress and filling in gaps. By the end of the first week, we emptied the collection boxes and sorted 670 pairs of socks. While we were spreading the news to the community, the Middle School Student Council challenged their classmates to a contest. The room that collects the most socks by the end of February wins a lunch time pizza party. This school turned on the other two schools in the District and they also began collections. Meanwhile, the second school district within our boundaries caught sock fever, and the Junior High began collecting. Not to be outdone the Key Club from the local high school also jumped in.

My part in this was to provide collection boxes for the community and the schools, eighty-five to be exact. I spun my wheels running between Home Depot and my shop to paste signs on the boxes designating them as Sock Drop points. We gave the drive a name; Care. Share. Give a Pair. This catchy phrase spread community wide via the local digital news-site, and on our local community TV.

As I write this we are a couple of days from the official end of the drive. At last count we had collected 5180 pairs of socks and we expect another two thousand to come in from the remaining schools and community boxes. Who would have thought? A simple idea that caught the imagination of a lot of people in the town. All of them pent up with energy from the COVID lockdown. All of them recognizing that their neighbors are in need and they are still in better shape than those in need.

At this moment the kids who won the contest are lunching on pizza supplied by another club member who owns the most popular pizza joint in town. In the meantime, the Lions are now facing a new problem, i.e where to donate the thousands of surplus socks. I love problems like that.

Where the is a need there is a Lion.

Sock Sort One

What a day this has been! The sun is shining making us feel warm even though the temperature is at 26 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow from the roofs is melting and forming giant icicles. Any of these pointed ice spears would kill anyone it fell on. Today was planned to count and sort socks. My Lions Club is conducting a community wide sock collection for the purpose of giving those in need some fresh new socks. Our idea is that if your feet are warm, the rest of you will be warm too. For whatever reason, this project is resonating with the public. Probably because it is simple and COVID-19 has affected so many of our neighbors. The Frankfort Lions Club goal is to provide every man, woman, and child registered with our local food pantry with a six pack of socks.

Ten super excited Lions gathered for this event at our local Community Center. We were masked and spread apart as wide as was possible and within thirty minutes we counted 672 pairs of socks, tied them into bundles of six, and bagged them for transport to the Food Pantry on Monday morning. Since our food pantry is sheltered in the Township building and the Township is government they don’t work weekends so hold your hunger for Monday thru Friday.

Our count was six hundred and seventy-two pairs of socks in 112 bundles of six, or 36.7% of our goal. Next week Lions will energize the purchasing component of the project and spend sponsor donated funds to buy what the public didn’t give. By the end of February, our public school partners will end their drives and provide us with a mountain of socks to spread around the community through the shelters.

All in all, this has been a successful project. A highlight will be our Lions produced video to publicize the event. What else but a sock puppet show to do the job. I promise to post our video once it becomes final.

Part two of this day had me delivering two pieces of art-work to Frankfort Arts Association Member Exhibition at Tall Grass Arts Association in Park Forest, IL. The show is “Emerging Perspectives,” and it is my debut as an artist. I feel that all the hours I have spent on making Intarsia pieces deserves some recognition, or at least some exposure. The next step will be to sell something, but I have a problem with that, i.e. I can’t bear the idea of letting my babies go. Maybe that is why we are called “starving artists.”

Wanted:Gently Used Coats

There is no question that the current drop in temperatures has me thinking about a severe winter. Part of my downsizing effort had me looking through my closets for stuff to eliminate. There hanging by its lonesome was my winter coat. It is a down jacket that has served me well and is lacking a zipper pull. I fixed it by threading an oversized paper clip through the eye. It works fine, it keeps me warm, but I’m thinking I could use a nicer coat. Then I wondered how many people there are out there like me who are looking to eliminate a coat from the wardrobe? Probably a few more. Then it occurred to me that I am a Lion. Collecting and distributing used winter coats would make a great service project for the club.

I’ll make a presentation this evening to my board of directors and see how it flies. As part of my research I went to the internet and searched for coat collections. WOW! Lots of people are doing it, and that signals a genuine need. That is, there must be a bunch of homeless or needy people who can use some warmth.

So what do I do when we get a bunch of coats collected and now we have to do something with them. The internet offers multiple organizations that will accept gently used coats. I wasn’t surprised to see that The Burlington Coat Factory was amongst them. Most likely our club will donate them to a local organization called Together We Cope, or the Salvation Army, or the neighboring VFW that is collecting coats for veterans.

We can also accept cash donations towards the purchase of coats for anyone we find in need. Since we service up to twenty-eight families with holiday food they might also be needing some warm coats.

The trick is to let the public know what we are doing and to ask them to help with donations. Spreading the word to friends and neighbors via email or on Facebook should be easy enough even for guys like me.

Probably the toughest thing to do is to get a very large box (gaylord) to place coats into.

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

Nature, books, exploring, publishing, photography, video, short films, lifestyle

Jim Campbell's

"Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out"

Wavy and Anchored

The waves may come crashing down, but they will not break me.

Journeyman's Journal

This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand

KetoJENic Vibe

🥓🥑🍳 Health and Wellness based, Easy Recipes, and Keto Product Reviews

Quotes Database

Your Site Of Influential Quotes!

The Lockdown Chef

A cooking survival guide for those who don't know how

My Serene Words

Seeking Solace in the horizon of life & beyond

MRS. T’S CORNER

https://www.tangietwoods

ESL Ventures

Teach ESL and Travel the World

Heart Felt

This platform is for the people who likes to talk straight from the heart🤩

THOUGHTS OF PESHY

on personal experiences and things I'm passionate about

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and Spirituality **Award Free**

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind

summershaffer

A topnotch WordPress.com site