Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Joy of Non-Profits

Someone, who shall not be named, once asked me why in the world I would want to work in a non-profit because you always have to beg for money. I now have experience working with non-profits and realize yes, this is the case. You are always struggling for money, which you get from several different sources. These past few days I have done a lot of asking for money. On Saturday I was one of those people who stands in the middle of a street (on a median) with a little bucket collecting money. I stood in the cold in the middle of a busy street for 4 hours with a bright orange vest, shaking my little bucket in hopes that someone would roll down their window to contribute a dollar or some change. And several people did. I actually got over $100 by the end (and I was sharing the median with two other people!) I found this rather impressive. Oh, and I should mention this was for the Humane Society. If you are wondering why in the world a girl who is allergic to all animals is standing in the cold for hours collecting money for them...well it's because my friend asked me to. In addition to working with me at Americana, she also works at the Humane Society and needed volunteers to do this. So I did it. And it was actually pretty fun. I almost got hit by a few cars, but all in all it was a good time. My friend told me that last year they made $30,000 in one day doing this! (they had people stationed all over Louisville). I don't know the total for this year yet. Do you think I could fund my next trip to Europe/Asia/Africa this way? That would be awesome! And back to asking for money for real causes - the past couple days I have had to make several phone calls to places I looked up in the yellow pages about making donations to our new community garden. Oh yeah, I don't think I mentioned on here yet that Americana Community Center will soon have a community garden, which I think is exciting. My housemates and I will have a plot. I have never gardened before, so it will be a learning experience for me. It opens this Saturday! But we have a lot that still needs done, hence all the phone calls. I have decided asking for money is not all that bad, and it can be fun coming up with creative ways to raise money. It's a good thing I think this way since it is essential for the career path I am choosing. I might change my mind in a few years :)

What else...things are still good here. I really do love where I work and think it is a great place. Every day is different. You never know what is going to happen. This past weekend was good, but not much to report except next time you see someone standing on the street, consider giving them a dollar! Now that I've been there, I think I will. I saw another good play Saturday night at Actors Theatre as part of the Humana Festival that is going on there. For a month they are premiering new American plays. I saw one called "Natural Selection" which was rather amusing. One of the characters was very into blogging which made me laugh. Then I played pool for a couple hours which is apparently the new thing to do around here. I have never really played before so I'm pretty bad, but I think my skills are slightly improving after a couple times. Sunday I did therapy with Cameron for the first time all by myself for two hours. It went pretty well, although I need to check a book out on sign language and try to learn some more. And this little boy was definitely testing me since I'm new. But when I think of some of the things I have dealt with in the past, it was a breeze! However, it is still rather challenging.

Ok I need to go to bed. But one more thing. I have recently become addicted to playing Pacman. So if you would like to be addicted too, here you go: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pacman.html I don't know what it is about this game. I remember playing it when I was little at my friend's house and I thought it was so cool. This was before we had a computer at my house. And I rediscovered it a couple weeks ago when we added some new games to our kid's computer lab at work, including this one. All the kids love it too. This game is timeless!

10 Comments:

At 3:53 AM, Blogger Rebekah said...

You are amazing! You make me think of all the beggars that I see everyday in the street asking me for money. You have much more dignity than those without limbs lying in the dirt, but it's humbling I'd imagine.

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger Abby said...

I am so impressed you were raising money for the Humane Society considering your aversion to animals! Also, I wanted to ask you about something I heard. One of my patients at the Eating Disorder Program was a teacher and (we got a little off track) she was telling me how some of the students at her school who have autism walk around with milk jugs about 1/2 full of water and when they walk and the water sloshes, it's calming to them...have you ever heard this?

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I admire your willingness and dedication to work in non-profit. I would imagine that it would be quite challenging. Thanks for sharing your story!

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger abbymo said...

Laura is such a teacher! lol

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger abbymo said...

Hearing you story about Cameron brings back so many camp memories. I'm so glad that you do what you do.

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Vicki said...

I must have missed the news about hell freezing over! Maria raising money for the animals? Is this the same girl that pushes my puppy away when she wants to be petted?

That girl that I think looks like you at my school just dyed her hair brown (it used to be blonde). It's FREAKING me out. I have thought she was you from a distance three times already! I swear she's your clone.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Maria said...

ha ha Vicki, and I need to see a picture of this girl who supposedly looks so much like me! And do you have a blog yet?

And Abby - I have not heard of this specific example, but it makes sense. Now I don't know all the technical language, but those with autism sometimes need sensory stimiulation to calm them down. For example I used a weighted blanket with Will and a "body sock." And Cameron has a container of rice with little toys in it (putting his hands in the rice to find the toys is calming) Things like this are common.

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I am such a teacher? That's good. Otherwise, I don't know what I've been doing since August!

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Vicki said...

No, I don't have a blog yet. Finals are in three weeks so it'll probably wait until they are done.

I'm sure you didn't hear this but it was all over the news here. Some guy took police on a high speed chase from Bowling Green to Bluffton. He finally stopped at a gas station in Bluffton and the police ended up shooting and killing him.

Here's the story from our paper if you want to check it out.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060325/NEWS03/303250013&SearchID=73240166442119

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Maria said...

craziness!

 

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