I'm not going to lie: 2013 could not end soon enough. It was going incredibly well until I lost Ma, my maternal grandmother, very suddenly and surprisingly. My Grandma Starling had suffered from Alzheimer's for years and so losing her was more of a relief because she could finally get a break. But Ma? Very unexpected, something maybe only she knew if anyone knew. I might try to write more about her sometime but it's kind of hard.
So now some time has passed with only a few things broken, and now it's time to make more stuff.
I'm in a local Doctor Who fan club and after a few months in our new location the group's founders wanted to bring back the monthly collection of supplies to donate to local food shelves. Because we are gathered in more than one room now at events, I got it into my head to make a collection box that was really obvious. Naturally the box had to look like the most Whovian of them all.
There were some injuries but overall it went pretty smoothly:
I brought home two Uline boxes from work that my colleague Tom recommended: one would fit in the other so that we could shrink it to fit in a car. I bought a can of blue spray paint, some paint-Sharpies and a mixed-color selection of duct tape. That's about $20. A gift box covered in glitter from Xmas was added to the top and some foam padding at the bottom of the box to help donations land a little more safely.
I had to do the spray-painting in the basement between the old water heater and the litter boxes. It was (and still is) too cold to try to use the cans outside.
I was nearly done when I first posted an image online for approval. I was using PhotoBooth, thank you very much. Later, while (oddly enough) watching some PBS documentary that was behind-the-scenes of 'Sherlock,' I worked on cutting out a slot and making a sort of flap so that people could drop their donations through the 'front window' of the TARDIS. I figured the look I was going for was, 'Cool enough to leave a donation, ugly enough to not steal.' The message on the door is a take on the original but mentions the kinds of things to donate.
If you have a club or anything that has people gathering regularly, please consider collecting money or goods for local food shelves. It's something everyone can do and is something a number of us have experienced using when times have been tough. Today as I spent my lunch hour driving to a neighborhood food shelf to donate the first month's collection of goods, I was reminded that this was the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of the War on Poverty. KNOW was playing President LBJ's speech on the radio. You can watch part of it here.
My grandma was also born in Texas and came to California during the Great Depression as a child. I know little about the poverty in her family but I know she laughed at my college-aged brother and I eating SPAM one day because she swore as a kid that she would never eat it again in her life! That's another famous blue box but I won't be donating that. I'll aim for veg, whole grains, and goods such as kitchen and bathroom essentials. Even baby products and pet food is welcomed.
Please, help your friends and neighbors. You can have fun doing it! Make a silly box like I did. Keep it in your room or your basement or wherever and then when you've collected some stuff at the next gathering, drop it off at a food shelf. You'll feel good about it.