Weeks 26-28: Off we go, into the wild, blue yonder…

Project: Care Packages for AnySoldier.com

 

Actual Time: 120 minutes

 

Once again, I’ve managed to Tom Sawyer people into doing my volunteering for me.

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The first week (Week 26) of my Soldier Care Package project, I thought that I would just buy all of the supplies myself and outsource the thank you cards to the kids of the cast, a la Letters of Love, back in February.

 

But after one quick CVS trip, I realized that it may be a bit more cost prohibitive than I originally imagined.

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ouch.

 

At first, I thought I would go to the dollar store and pick up the supplies, but the specter of guilt, with whom I often hang out with, reared it’s uncomfortable head.

 

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“These people are out there, risking their LIVES for the protection of your freedom and in service to your country, and you are going to buy them stuff at a dollar store to save money?!?”

 

So I went to Plan B.

 

Guilting my friends into helping.

Cards

Ensemble Member/Simba Cover Extraordinaire Blaine Krauss, hard at work between scenes

 

(Actually, I work with such lovely, generous people, it took little to no guilting whatsoever!)

 

In Week 27, (which was, serendipitously the week of July 4th, so playing up the patriotism card was natural for me!) I set up a card table to make thank you cards in the hallway outside of our dressing rooms. As usual, the cubs were there every show, diligently cranking out tank-shaped thank you cards and multi colored flags of appreciation.

 

I also put up a flyer outlining the specific platoon’s needs, which I found though AnySolder.org. I had two wonderful cast members drop off gobs of supplies, and when I finally got it into a box for shipping, along with my original CVS purchases, it was almost too heavy to lift up to the post office desk!

 

Life Lesson: Chocolate bars are heavy!

 

Week 28 was my vacation week, so I spent the day before departing for Panama City Beach rushing around cleaning the house, packing my suitcases, and shipping huge boxes of our care package items off to our platoon.

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That’s a whole-lotta love!

It felt great to send that box of teamwork off into the blue. (I’m not sure exactly where they are stationed, but I’m assuming it is Afghanistan. The website is very confidential about the movements of platoons. Loose lips sink ships, and whatnot.)

 

So thank you to everyone I polled on Facebook for care package recommendations (I never would have thought to get them drink mixes! Brilliant!) and to everyone at work who helped color a card or buy some supplies.

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My friends are a wealth of knowledge!

Now, what can I trick my cast into helping me do next….

Week Seven: Random Acts of Kindness Weak (Week….)

Project: Love Letters for the Elderly and Random Acts of Kindness Week

Actual Time Taken: 35 minutes

Blast. Missed my weekly hour goal again. But at least that “A” for effort is there, right??

I finally finished up the Love Letters for the elderly program by dropping off our 300+ Valentines Day cards to the Meals on Wheels of Honolulu. (The entire campaign raised over 100,000 cards nationwide, which is nothing short of amazing!) I’m happy to report that they were completely taken aback by the volume of cards and were extremely appreciative. It felt so good to drop them off to the office and see the surprise on their faces at the sheer number of construction paper hearts.

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“Hearts” and crafts. Ha!

Also, Facebook, where I (sadly) ingest most of my breaking social news, informed me that it was Random Acts of Kindness Week. Feeling a bit lazy after such a concentrated effort on the Love Letters project for so many weeks, I decided to make this the focus of my hour of volunteering for the week.

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Random Acts of Kindness RAKS… apparently.

To kick off Random Act of Kindness (or RAK, as the graphic above calls it) week, I pulled out the ‘big guns,’ and bought a $10 Jamba Juice card (after purchasing my own Strawberry Raspberry Banana with energy booster, natch). I instructed the slightly confused cashier to give it to the next customer who came into the store. I was lucky enough to see this person come in as I waited for my order to be filled, and smiled quietly to myself into my matcha green tea shot as the woman receiving the card reacted with surprise and delight. She covered her mouth in shock and kept saying “No way, no way!

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My friend Hero and I downing our matcha green tea shots with our brave faces on…

Yes way, lady. It’s the power of the RAK.

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Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness. #6 is something weird like “try a new fruit,”

so I guess that falls under being kind to your… body?

The next day, I brought sushi to a friend at work (Ok, not so random… but still kindright?) because I know she loves it and it absolutely made her smile. Wednesday, I went on a scuba diving trip and ended up giving a ride to some people on the trip who I had just met but who were stranded at the dive shop, but that really felt like something I would do any given day, so I’m not sure how much that ‘counted.’ (Also, I’m not sure if I know who’s actually ‘counting,’ either. So there’s that…)

Thursday night, while grocery shopping with my boyfriend, I realized I hadn’t done a RAK Act (as I’ve now coined it, ahem…) for the day, so at the checkout register I bought the Kit Kats on sale, 4 for $3 (what a steal!) and gave one to the cashier, one to the person behind us in line, one to my boyfriend, and one to myself. (It’s kinda like the list says about trying new fruit, except I’m being nice to my tongue and not necessarily my body…)

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So this article came out yesterday. Timely! (And strange, what’s a Chicken Dinner candy bar?!)

Friday I fell behind and had planned to make up for it over the weekend, by doing lots of extra ‘acts,’ but by Saturday morning I found myself in the hospital, doped up on morphine for the first (and hopefully last) time of my life.

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Oh don’ t you worry. I checked in at the hospital on Facebook. Natch.

A little personal medical history: four years ago I herniated a disk in my neck. This is one of the many party gifts that a career in dance leaves you with- numerous, random, and sometimes serious injuries you get to nurse into your twilight years. Anywho, Friday night I felt something strange in my neck while I was dancing on stage, but ignored it, as we dancers are used to ignoring most pain… that is, until you can’t anymore. That moment came for me sometime around 6 am on Saturday morning, when I woke up in a full neck spasm and unable to move whatsoever.

Long story short, a trip to the ER and a litany of drugs knocked me out for the rest of the week, thereby stealing my chances to continue my RAK week (yes, lame excuse, going to the hospital. I know…) but I think I’ll try to sneak a few acts in this week (I think I’m about three behind?) to finish out my RAK week strong! (My neck, on the other hand, will be taking it nice and eeeeasy…)

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