STEPH DEROSA: LET'S GET SOMETHING STARTED >>>
Perched upon the porcelain pedestal in Marlene's Market and Deli's restroom, thoughts of peace and serenity begin to fill my mind. No, it's not because I'm taking a huge poo, as some of you readers seem to believe this is the premise to all Toilet Tales. With a busy life and many obligations, a chance to be alone and reflect in silence is a moment that is few and far between. And really, if you must know, I very rarely poo in public loos. (Although Home Depot seems to always stir something up in the bowels of my husband whenever we go shopping for home fixtures.)
The feeling of peace and serenity I mentioned comes from the overall feeling of doing the best thing for my family by buying and feeding them whole and organic foods. Yes, my grocery bill tends to be higher than the typical Safeway run, but I justify this by thinking there is no price you can put on living a healthy life. Simply put, there are certain foods we do prefer to buy there. For example, you can't find a closer or better selection of sprouting seeds than at Marlene's.
Sometimes doing the best thing to me also involves supporting the community. Not only am I talking about supporting the local businesses, but I'm also talking about the Big VÃ: VOLUNTEERING. While reviewing my thoughts about this subject as I rest in Marlene's public potty, I remember the struggles I've been through in my own career of volunteerism.
I joined the Junior League of Tacoma way back in the day with hopes of making new friends, having a social outlet, and volunteering in the community. While my experience with this organization gave me a plethora of knowledge that I will always be grateful for, it was also the lifelong friendships I developed that bring a tear to my eye as I reminisce. The two things I loved most about the Junior League, hands-on volunteer work and having a social outlet, are two of the biggest things besides my friends and family that can bring me a sense of peace and serenity in life.
After leaving the Junior League, I took on the endeavor of starting the Tacoma Beer Society for a friend who was a Pittsburgh Beer Society transplant. I was going to get it started and give it one year before I handed it off. I worked damn hard, and developed that thing from the ground up. We established hundreds of members and held monthly tastings. My time was eventually done, and I handed it off to my co-founder in April 2008. Nothing has been touched since. It crushes me to see e-mails gone unanswered, and to see a Web site I worked so hard for and put so much time into simply crumble and die. No one has made an ounce of effort since my departure, and I try daily not to blame myself, as I did do everything I could within that year.
Well, guess what? I'm yearning again for another social outlet. I don't want to be a part of another board-heavy, overanalyzed, over-managed nonprofit. I also don't want to be a part of an organization I am setting up for someone else. This time it's going to be for ME.
With support from the Weekly Volcano, I'm going to start a volunteer and social organization that will hopefully also fit the needs of some of you out there. It's in the beginning stages, but here are the specifics:
No money needed. No dues, no membership no nonprofit status, no board of directors.
One night (or day) a month is social time. We talk, meet new people and chill out. It's during this time we also pick that month's project.
Another separate day of the month is the day we go out and complete our chosen project. It's a hands-on, one day, come as you are for as long as you like and even bring the whole family day of volunteerism. (This could be anything from donating time to a food bank, to cleaning up a park, to painting someone's house.)
Come all the time or don't come but once a season. Like I said, there is no roster and this is very low-commitment. I want this to be simple and run by the needs of the community. That community includes YOU.
First, social will be in early August. Time and place TBD¬" your input is needed!
Further discussion can be done so in the Volcano Forums. Or e-mail me.
LINK: Toilet Tales archive