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Golden Oldie: Food for thought: A P8TT community project

Community/Meta

Hopefully AnonyGrl doesn’t mind, I thought this was one of the best examples of strong community on this blog. The original post has over 300 comments, many of which are worth reading for really great discussion- or you can start new ones here, reflecting.

We at P8TT are taking Christmas through New Year’s off. Golden Oldies you requested will run in the place of regular posts. Regularly scheduled programming will resume on January 3rd–Adam Bink

——

(Check out the following guest post by Vienna Hagen — AKA “AnonyGrl” in the comments — in which she talks about how the Prop 8 Trial Tracker community has self-organized a creative campaign to promote LGBT equality through the spirit of giving and community outreach. It’s yet another reason why I love the Trial Tracker family! — Eden)

By Vienna Hagen AKA AnonyGrl

A few days ago the National Organization for Marriage — in conjunction with a number of others including our old friend Lou Engle’s TheCall and Bishop Harry Jackson — announced a 40-day fast against marriage equality (and other signs of the apocalypse) that will run through October 30, just a few days before the November election.

As is usually the case, we here at P8TT gave the whole business the once over, dissected it thoroughly and exposed it for the #completeFAIL that it promises to be. But in the course of that discussion, interesting as they all are around here, an idea was tossed out by our own “elliom”:

He suggested that perhaps if they fast, we should feed; that is we should organize 40 days of feeding the hungry instead.

A number of people climbed right on board with that idea, and we started tossing around ideas of different ways we might proceed, what to call the group, how to organize and so on. The discussion (as some of ours do around here) looked like it might start to hijack the thread, but more importantly, it looked as though it might take on a life of its own, and so I suggested we move it off-site, so to speak, and get interested folks together to talk more and see what happened.

On Saturday, five of us got together on Skype for a conference call from all over the place, and tossed around ideas for almost two hours. Present were elliom, Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan), Rhie, bJason and yours truly, AnonyGrl.

I have to say, we had a great time, both just chattering and cracking jokes, as well as getting some good ideas percolating for making this idea into a do-able reality. We tossed around some thoughts for names, and came up with one we liked. Currently bJason is on the hunt to see if it is one we can actually GET, researching both the possibility of snagging it as a domain name and finding out what will be necessary to registering it as a trademark, should we decide to go that route. Richard is on the hunt for information about free website hosting, and getting us an established presence that way. Rhie has volunteered to be our social networking resource, looking into setting up a Facebook and Twitter account for use in getting the word out when the time comes, elliom has the task of writing up a mission statement which he will mold and shape as we go along and I get to do some general research, create a logo (once we’ve settled on a name), and to write this post, to tell all of you folks about it.

But that is just the business end of things. Here is what we are looking to actually do.

We want to gather food and get it to food banks.

As we head into what seems to be the season of feasts, Ramadan having just passed, the fall being a time of harvest, Halloween, Hannukah, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, the irony is that donations tend to fall off. Food banks are constantly seeking donations so that they may provide assistance to families in need, but more so during these times of plenty, when people who might normally donate start to tighten their belts a little because of all the expenses the season provides them. There are many organizations which seek to help, and we would like to join them, and we think with the advantage of knowing so many people from all around the country and the world, we might be uniquely situated to do some good.

Our idea is that volunteers (and here we turn a hopeful eye to you wonderful people) will help in a variety of ways, both in spreading the word, helping us locate and target food pantries, and in organizing local food drives, which can be as simple as putting a box with some info out at your office and taking the results down to your local food bank, to as full an experience as you might wish to make it, organizing donations of food and volunteers, or whatever your area might need. We hope to be something of a clearing house for coordinating efforts and getting information out to people (as well as serving as local volunteer organizers ourselves) but also to let people in other places know that this is not a difficult project to achieve, and the rewards can be measureless.

It was noted during our Skype conference that we have one pretty strong thing going for us. We are all the sort of people who are not just dedicated, but are willing to listen to the ideas of others and work to incorporate them in where we can. Each of us tossed out great suggestions (if I may pat us on the back for a minute) and we think we have the basis for making this really work. We talked about what we would need to do to make it a short term, 40 day, event, and also discussed the possibility of creating a more permanent sort of organization, if we discover that the idea really takes off. We threw in other suggestions of projects that relate to our main goals that could be added in further down the line. We discussed, a bit, and will continue to do, why we want to do this, and what we want to say while we do it. We have the opportunity to turn this into a way to reach out to communities that might not understand the cause of Equality and to show them who we are, and that we just want to be their neighbors and lend a helping hand where we can. And by doing so, we stand the chance of reaching some hearts, and maybe changing some minds too.

So here is what we are looking for right now. First of all, we would love to know what you think of the idea, so feel free to toss out thoughts and suggestions in this thread. We’ll certainly read all of them, file some away for future reference, and act on any that seem feasible. We also would love to have the assistance of anyone who is interested in getting involved. A second Skype call is scheduled for this coming Thursday at 6pm Eastern time (I am on the east coast, and I am organizing the call, so you guys get to figure out when that is for you, or check with Richard, who is the official keeper of times, since he can remember all the time zones when I can’t). If you are interested and available and would like to join in, drop me a note in my email at anonygrl@aol.com and include both your real name (or something we can call you, if you like, and if your P8TT name is complicated) and your Skype ID. Skype is easy to set up, free to download and use, and all you need is either a headset or a computer with speakers and a mic. Actually, if you just have speakers, you can still listen in and contribute in the chat panel that also comes up. Just so you know, there is a maximum of 25 people on a Skype call, but we will certainly be doing more posting like this (either here or somewhere else) with updates if you can’t make it.

Some of you have already indicated interest, which is great, and we would love to know what anyone would be interested in doing to help even if you can’t make the Skype call, so feel free to discuss that here too. If you have interest in being a local volunteer, or to organize local volunteers, or are a website administrator, or know something of the legal aspects of this sort of project, or are an accountant with a yen to help set up the bookkeeping… any talent you might want to share, I am certain we can find a way to use, so please do let us know! At the moment, we are working under a committee structure, and will formalize things as we go on, but since we are in the ‘fact finding’ and organizing stage right now, we would be glad of any assistance anyone would like to provide.

And eventually, even if you don’t have the time to volunteer, we hope you all will end up as donors in whatever way you can to your own local food banks so that we can bring a little joy and some full bellies to those who really, really need it.

33 Comments

  • 1. anonygrl  |  December 30, 2010 at 2:00 am

    I absolutely do not mind! Thanks for considering my post as one of the good ones!

    :)

  • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 30, 2010 at 2:05 am

    It is a fabulous post anonygrl!

    And, for anyone interested in Feed Equality – join the facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=10991023

  • 3. Kathleen  |  December 30, 2010 at 2:34 am

  • 4. Ann S.  |  December 30, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Hooray for the FE and P8TT communities!!

  • 5. Sagesse  |  December 30, 2010 at 3:29 am

    A superb example of the power of community.

  • 6. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 30, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I for one am glad to see this golden oldie. I hope this will serve as a reminder that Feed Equality is still around and that we still need local organizers around the country to help us get the word out and feed the hungry at the same time.

  • 7. Ronnie  |  December 30, 2010 at 5:40 am

    "Food for thought" is gold……& here is some more gold…..

    ‘Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino Is Releasing His Own Line Of T-Shirts
    Cashing In For A Good Cause http://www.pinkisthenewblog.com/2010/12/jersey-sh

    A portion of the profits from Vinny's t-shirt collection, called "IHAV" (short for "I Have A Vision") will be donated through a partnership w/DoSomething.org for grants that will help create anti-bullying initiatives all across the county…….<3….Ronnie

  • 8. Ronnie  |  December 30, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Pictures of Proud Fathers, Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka, with their twins, Harper Grace & Gideon Scott will be in People Magazine……<3…Ronnie:

    Here are 2: http://www.afterelton.com/meme-12-30-2010?page=0%

  • 9. Bill  |  December 30, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Hee's the latest from Michael Medved.

    I can not believe he had the audacity to

    a.) write this
    b.) publish this
    http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=321&sid=40716

  • 10. Ed  |  December 30, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Wow….just wow….

  • 11. Kathleen  |  December 30, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Ditto what Ed said. Wow. That's a whole lot of misinformation … and just general homophobic crazy shit.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  December 30, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Yeesh. The man is stuck in 1963.

  • 13. Kathleen  |  December 30, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I like how he found a justification for why he finds the idea of two women hot and two men.. well, icky…. It's just science and common sense!!

  • 14. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 30, 2010 at 6:53 am

    That is sexism2

  • 15. Ronnie  |  December 30, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Short Clip from The Nate Berkus Show that aired yesterday (12/29/10)…..This is Wendy Walsh & 11yo son, Shawn, talking about her son, his brother, Seth Walsh (RIP)……towards the end of the episode (not in the clip) Chely Wright announced the launch of her new foundation titled "Like Me" (named after her single) & the college scholarship fund for LGBT & Straight Ally kids. Shawn is the 1st recipient of a $6,000 college scholarship along with the $15,000 from Nate for his support of his brother & pro-equality advocacy……<3….Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OVoq7cKKoU

  • 16. bJason  |  December 30, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Rock ON, Anonygrl!!

    Are your computer woes solved?

  • 17. Ray in MA  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:35 am

    At LEAST he leaves the comment/posts…

  • 18. Ronnie  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Wow, NOM…just wow….

    COMMENTARY: National Organization for Marriage late again with federal tax returns
    FRED KARGER – RIGHTS EQUAL RIGHTS
    December 30th, 2010 http://www.sdgln.com/commentary/2010/12/30/nation

    (me) One quote sums it up…."NOM is not above the law."…I'm sure NOM thinks they are above the law…seeing as they keep breaking the laws while stating they are "moral"…yeah ok…..NOM FAIL!!!…..<3…Ronnie

  • 19. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 30, 2010 at 10:17 am

    What is this idiot smoking? Whatever it is, somebody needs to take it away from him! All it is doing is destroying what is left of the last two brain cells he was born with!

  • 20. Sagesse  |  December 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    The next battleground… NH. This is getting really old.

    N.H. must retain gay marriage
    http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic

  • 21. anonygrl  |  December 31, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Almost…. an angel we both know has sent me a loaner in the mail for me to use till I get myself sorted out… and it should be here on Tuesday.

    :)

  • 22. Bob  |  December 31, 2010 at 2:16 am

    gotta love them angels,,,,, they are a clear indication that the person who is atuned to their presence, is a human being who has achieved the highest level of BEING in the world,

    angels have connections in miraculous ways to other angels, Just sayin, you get back what ya put out, thanks Annonygrl if anyone can put a computer to good use the way you do, they deserve a permanent fix, so keep us posted…..on that situation… I'm one person who has been blessed by your talent, on this site,,

  • 23. Sagesse  |  December 31, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Update on progress since the 2009 raid at the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth.
    http://www.dallasvoice.com/fw-continued-wake-rain

  • 24. anonygrl  |  December 31, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Thank you Bob, that was very sweet.

    Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

  • 25. Sagesse  |  December 31, 2010 at 2:52 am

    In depth status of the Golinski DOMA case. A good read.

    SF federal judge hears DOMA challenge
    http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&amp

  • 26. Sagesse  |  December 31, 2010 at 3:07 am

    A well-reasoned alternative (or precursor) to UAFA.

    Same-Sex Green Cards: The Case for a Presidential Executive Order 2011
    http://lezgetreal.com/2010/12/same-sex-green-card

  • 27. Bob  |  December 31, 2010 at 3:21 am

    good on you Fort Worth, Rainbow Lounge, fairly healthy response to tragic event, love the new position of liason on the police task force to the LGBT community,,,,, that's what it takes, woot woot

  • 28. Sagesse  |  December 31, 2010 at 3:31 am

    How can you tell I'm catching up on my reading.

    Focus on the Family Wants House Republicans to Investigate the Justice Department over DOMA Cases
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/focus-famil

  • 29. Bob  |  December 31, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Very interesting read, the Case for Presidential Excecutive Order 2011, it would be in line with the inclusive language change including LGBT under the umbrella of human rights protections by the United Nations, wonder if any pressure could be brought to the case from that perspective, Obama is already leaning that way….. what will it take to push him to Act on it….

  • 30. Sagesse  |  December 31, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Missed this yesterday.

    Govt. Seeks to Suspend DADT Lawsuit Appeal
    http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/12/30/Go

  • 31. Sagesse  |  December 31, 2010 at 5:27 am

    A lot of year end retrospectives out there, but this one from the Advocate is outstanding. Happy 2011, everyone.

    Newsmakers of the Year
    http://advocate.com/News/News_Features/Newsmakers

  • 32. Rhie  |  December 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

    All I have to say is, that tosser is NOT part of MY Northwest!

  • 33. Bob  |  January 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

    that clarifies the issue for me , Obama was taking the right approach by defending the law in the courts, and they want him to keep his place there to hold them to task….

    It's always a pleasure to browse the thread after Sagesse has done posting,,,,, talk about current links,,,, woot woot to Sagesse,,,,,,

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