Week 51/52: A New Site

Project: A new 52 Hours a Year site

Actual Time Taken: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Well here we are, nearing the end of the weird little project I started 52 weeks ago. (I’m a little confused as to why this year added up to 51.5 weeks or so… probably a glitch in the Matrix or something… or I’ve just lost count. Who knows. Either way, this is my post for the last week of 2014, so it’s 51 and 52, I guess…)

But before I can actually count it as ‘done,’ I have one last week of an hour-long project to fill. It was hard to find things to volunteer for during the holidays between the extra shows we were performing and traveling home to see family, so for this last week I had to improvise.

You may have already noticed a bit of a visual change from the last few weeks, unless this is your first time. If it is, just take my word for it. It looked a little different before this week, as it was just a list of my posts in chronological order- every week of my volunteering adventures.

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Our former look

Now, hopefully, you can use this page as a resource for your own quest to change your corner of the world.

There’s a tab at the top of the page (“Find a Cause!) where you’ll find links to all the organizations I worked with this year. If it was a local speciality, it’s organized by state, but if it was a national charity, it’s filed under “Nationwide.”

There’s also a tab for you to help you choose how to make a difference based on the amount of time you have to give every week (“Give What Ya Got!”). Even if you’ve only got five minutes to spare a week, you can make a difference!

My hope is that if someone, somehow finds this page in the future and feels inspired to give a few hours to a good cause, that they can use these resources to make a difference in their part of the world.

Or, if that’s never the case, at least I can leave it a slightly more well manicured corner of the World Wild Interwebs.

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Week 48: Signing for a cure

Project: Broadway Cares Poster Signing 

Actual Time Taken: 1 hour

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Twice a year, Equity theater casts around the country band together to collect money for an awesome cause, Broadway Cares: Actors Equity Fights Aids.

Since 1988, this amazing charity has raised over $250 million for not only AIDS research and charities, but for women’s health, dancers charities, HIV/AIDS education, and so many more. My cast helps out the cause by going out in to the audience after shows with buckets to collect money, as well as a few items for sale, such as beaded animals from South Africa, swatches of costume fabric, and autographed show posters.

But to get these posters to the public to raise money, they first have to be signed…. by everyone.

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A typical poster signing party between shows. 

And there’s TONS of them. We usually sign over 1,000 per season. Talk about hand cramps!

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Posters a go-go!

So this week, I plopped myself down with a sharpie and a stack of blank posters to sign and sign and sign for charity. Granted, we get slightly compensated in that the charity buys us lunch so we don’t have to go out between shows to eat (PF Changs, yum!) but I also make sure to go out and collect, smile, and try to get as many pennies, dollars, and checks for the cause as I can.

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Kendra (Left) and I in our Lioness costumes (My favorite)

I love going out to collect after shows. We usually don’t have much contact with the audience unless they are waiting for us outside the stage door, so when we have a chance to get out there after a show (and in costume no less) it’s always a treat. They are always so nice, telling me how much they enjoyed the show, or how pretty my costume is, or how great it is that we are collecting- all things we don’t get to hear when we are shlepping home after a show out of the back alley stage door.

We are about half way through our Broadway Cares ‘season,’ so I’ll be putting in a few more (undocumented, here) hours for the cause… but I’m trying not to repeat too many charities for my One Hour a Week goal… so silently I will sign (and collect) on for the next few weeks!