Thursday, June 2, 2011

Return of the Office of Good Deeds!

Hi All Six of You,
Great news! I am finally getting my shit together and relaunching the Office of Good Deeds. For those of you not familiar with OGD, you can read some backstory here. OGD started back in 2006 and then, after awhile, it sort of went dormant. I never stopped doing good deeds, and I know you didn't either. But we stopped having gatherings and it's been a pretty long time since I sent out a call for help.

Tomorrow I am going to announce a very big project OGD is undertaking this month. I sure hope you'll be able to help me with ideas, donations, and humanpower. OGD prefers to operate in deed and thought though sometimes we do receive cash donations which then go to emergency causes. I want to (need to) emphasize that due to the small size and whimsical nature of OGD that we don't take solicitations for money. It's very loosely structured and now and then word reaches me of a person, family or organization in Austin that needs something we can help with. Once we helped round up a dozen rare blood type donors in an hour for a critically ill newborn (thank you!). Another time we provided Christmas for four kids whose father died very suddenly a few weeks before that holiday. Sometimes we just hang out and make arts and crafts in the spirit of sharing fun time together. Doing something as simple as smiling at a stranger nets you membership-- call that corny but I'm serious you should try it. There are even studies (not that we need these) that show that when you smile at a stranger, the stranger will likely smile back and that both of you will instantly feel a lift.

The relaunch has been a long time coming. I want to mention a couple of things that have inspired me to get going again. When I held the last Kick Ass Awards in January, a couple of very generous donors offered to underwrite the cost of the trophies and cover the cost of refreshments. So generous were they, in fact, that I had a sizable amount of dough leftover. I'd been sitting on that, waiting for a chance to put it to some excellent use. Then a friend of mine, a lawyer who volunteers time helping immigrants seeking asylum, told me about Casa Marianella, a wonderful non-profit on the east side that has been providing shelter and legal aid to these folks since 1986. My friend mentioned that it sure would be nice if the immigrants-- who can't work until they get asylum-- had some entertainment. So using the extra funds leftover from KAA, OGD purchased a very nice badminton set for them. There was still more money leftover, which went to legal aid. And once I became aware of Casa Marianella, I learned that at least one resident hopes to learn knitting. I've donated supplies and am hoping to soon start teaching over there.

Speaking of knitting-- I'll also be hosting a stash sale at Hill Country Weavers this Sunday, June 5th down at the store (on South Congress across from Hey Cupcake!). Folks will be selling their extra yarn and all proceeds will go to residents of Joplin, Missouri. Even if you aren't a knitter, if you want to make a donation to the Red Cross and come by and say hi, please do. I'll be glad to take your money and if you want I can teach you a little knitting.

Something else I want to mention-- last week I put out the Virtual Tip Jar and many of you contributed sponsorship for this blog. THANK YOU SO MUCH. In addition to the sponsorships, I got a heap of supportive email. The outpouring of support was more than a little bit touching. Bolstered, I felt inspired to stop thinking about relaunching OGD and just get on with it. In addition to the above mentioned good deeds, I have also offered several full scholarships to my upcoming kids' summer camps-- so to all of you who kicked in, thanks-- you're helping send some kids to camp who might otherwise have missed the opportunity.

As noted, tomorrow I'll post all the details of our next project, which is-- I promise you-- really super awesome. I'll also send out a note to the OGD email list. If you'd like to be on that, drop me a line at -- and don't worry, I don't send out millions of emails. Just every once in awhile.

Thanks again for the inspiration,
President of the Office of Good Deeds

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