Monday, January 19, 2009

day of service REMIX!

melvin and i were so ready. we had on long johns under our toughest clothing, and we packed latex gloves in case our volunteer work involved picking up gross stuff. it was snowing outside pretty heavily, but we were undaunted.

except that we got lost, or not lost, but we never found our destination. we called several times, but nobody answered. perhaps the project was canceled due to weather. it was super disappointing and we were all revved up to do SOMEthing.

so maybe this is weird, but we bought a bunch of hot sweet coffees at dunkin' donuts (they are called dunkaccinos) and handed them out to people who looked like they could use a pick me up out in the cold. one guy got a little cash too.

PRO: the people who accepted the coffee seemed really grateful
CON: many were skeptical of our intentions
PRO: coffee was warm and baltimore was cold
CON: at least one dude seemed offended
PRO: the coffee was tasty. we had some too.
CON: several people thought we were looking for drugs. in case anybody is curious, the snow is absolutely no deterrent to dealers.
PRO: in general people were kind, seemed pleasantly surprised, and thanked us profusely.

all in all, not a bad day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

day of service

as most folks know, MLK Jr's birthday has become a day of national service for much of america. in the past, i've always had to work on that day. this year, i'm off AND a website has been created to match people with all kinds of service in their area. this website is brilliant. i encourage you to check it out, even if you have to work on monday, just to see how organized and easy it is to volunteer these days.

melvin and i (and i think our friend ben, too) are doing a neighborhood clean up with a great local organization that introduces young dealers and gang members to people who used to be in their shoes and have turned their lives around. hopefully it will be a little warmer? :(

Sunday, January 4, 2009

i need a muslim friend or two.

melvin and i have been talking for a long time about how we can actively be supporting muslim americans in this age of such discrimination against them. i've asked a few friends who have muslim relatives, but they don't consider themselves muslim so i hit a dead end. i'd like to support muslim american business owners, but so far i only learned that i should buy zabiha meat. i don't know what that is, but it seems moot since i'm a vegetarian.

i have stopped myself from approaching total strangers, 'cause i'm not sure how you start that conversation. "um, hi. are you a muslim? do you experience discrimination? is there something i can do to help?"

i posted on craigslist many times, but my posts were deleted immediately. craigslist has a lot of lurking bigots (i'm not making this up. they post a lot on the rants and raves pages).

i feel like this may be the civil rights issue of today. i feel like i should be doing something. any suggestions?