Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Toys for Tots’

Diary #441

Today is the very last day of my annual Toys for Tots special; you can still claim it if you book and pay today, even if we can’t manage an actual meeting today (which we almost certainly won’t, since I’ve got several things to do).  This year I got over $1000 in cash donations and several toy donations; I’ve already made two drops at the collection center and plan to make my final one tonight (unless I get any last-minute donations, in which case the local coordinator assures me we can squeak them in tomorrow or the next day).  I really enjoy doing this drive every year, and I’m happy to help children in need; however, like so many good things it’s very energy-intensive, so I’m rather glad the program-imposed deadline is two weeks before Christmas Day.  That gives them time to organize distribution, and me time to finish the rest of my own Christmas shopping and other preparations.  As usual, you’ll notice my blog schedule bounce around a little over the holidays, but it’ll be back to normal by the end of the second week of January; meanwhile, I’m going out to Sunset a few days before Christmas, so if you want to schedule during the holidays you need to either be flexible or contact me well in advance (preferably both).  Because the thing I want most for Christmas is some much-needed rest.

Read Full Post »

Diary #440

My “Toys for Tots” special started with a bang this year, with $500 in donations in the first couple of days.  The picture below was the result of spending the first $350, and this week I’ll be doing another round; I’ve discovered it’s more fun to take Jae with me on the shopping trips because she gets really excited and it’s good to have another viewpoint on what kids might like.  Last week we even turned it into an outing, with dinner afterward.  I’m also doing some shopping for my own Christmas presents and assisting Santa with stocking stuffers, and working out my schedule for my various commitments for the holiday season.  It’s a lot of work and juggling, but it always feels rewarding.  And come Boxing Day I’ll be able to put up my feet and relax without feeling guilty about it.  Anyhow, the special ends one week from today, so if you’re going to take advantage of it, don’t dawdle!  Remember, you only need to book the appointment and pay the toy portion of the fee by then; we can schedule the appointment for later if you like, and you can relax knowing you’ve helped needy children to have a little joy on Christmas morning.

Read Full Post »

It’s getting harder every year to avoid being exposed to premature Christmas decorations and music; this year I saw a few things in late September.   SEPTEMBER.  And I was seeing “Black Friday” garbage in my garbage email long before Halloween (I have a standing filter which automatically trashes any email with “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” in the subject line).  But in the past few years I’ve learned to minimize my non-grocery shopping in October and November so as to avoid being enraged by hasty idiots who don’t understand the concept of timeliness, so it wasn’t intolerable.  Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids. If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special, which for a small expenditure will allow you extra time with me while bringing a little bit of joy to needy children.  From now until December 11th, book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys). Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule. If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  If you don’t live near me, please consider donating via PayPal (to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) or Cash app (to $MaggieMcNeill) anyway; make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind).  And if you want to take advantage of the special but don’t have time to actually see me by the 11th, that’s OK too; you can prepay and schedule the appointment for later.  I want to make this as easy as possible for you, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

Read Full Post »

Diary #389

Yesterday I wrapped up my annual Toys for Tots drive, which turned out to be the best one since I arrived in Seattle!  Today I’m taking all of these toys to the collection center, and I want to offer a big thank-you to everyone who donated (and to all those who donated to your own local drive).  Christmas is less than two weeks away now; I’ll be driving up to Sunset a week from Saturday with Jae in tow, and we’re going to spend the holiday with Grace.  But from now until January 6th (discounting the holiday weekend) I’m offering a holiday special for regular readers and subscribers.  Interested?  You’ll need to email me for details!  But I will say it’s available even if I have to travel to you, though the details are a bit different.  As usual, serious inquiries only please!  And if you’re inclined to get me a present, donations of any size are always welcome, and I’m going to try to add more to my Amazon wishlist!

Read Full Post »

Diary #388

This year, just about everyone who took advantage of my Toys for Tots special gave me cash, so I’ve made several shopping trips; Jae was a tomboy when she was young, so she came along on the second trip and helped me pick out boys’ toys.  I try to roughly balance boys’ toys, girls’ toys, unisex toys (such as games & puzzles) and small children’s toys, and while I usually make more than one trip to the dropoff location I think I might do it all in one load this time, just because it’s more impressive.  Remember, the last day is Monday the 11th, only six days from today; if you don’t have time to see me before that, you can send the $100 in advance and I’ll honor it for your appointment later.  In case you’ve forgotten the details, here they are again:

book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys).  Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule.  If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  And if you don’t live near me, please consider donating via PayPal or Google wallet anyway; use my regular email address (maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) and make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind)…

Whores and children are Saint Nick’s favorites, so it has always seemed appropriate to me that at his special time of year, the former should make a special effort to help the latter.

Read Full Post »

Now that Grace is here in Washington, I’ll actually be cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner by myself for the first time since 2014.  Oh, it probably won’t be as big and elaborate as the ones I used to make in the old days, but it’ll have turkey (no, it’s not dry and nasty when I make it) and dressing and gravy and pumpkin pie and all that.  And I’ll get to spend a couple of days at Sunset, which will be nice for a change.  Then Friday is the start of the Yuletide season; this year I managed to stay away from enough retail stores that I didn’t have to endure much-too-early holiday decorations & music, which is a promising start.  See, I keep the holiday season for loved ones and generosity rather than conspicuous consumption, so it hasn’t been ruined for me.  And that reminds me:  starting Friday, I’m running my annual Toys for Tots special which for a small expenditure will allow you extra time with me while bringing a little bit of joy to needy children.  It will run until December 11th, and you don’t even need to be in Seattle to take advantage of it!  If you’re interested, please read Friday’s column for details; if you don’t want to wait until then just email me (serious inquiries only, please).  Here’s to the holiday season; won’t you consider spending a little slice of it with me?

Read Full Post »

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  –  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Toys for Tots 2003Long-time readers know that I am a firm believer in the Ecclesiastean principle, that there is a proper season for everything and that everything should be in its season.  And because of this, I get very vocal (let’s be honest: bitchy) when I see freaking stores putting out Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving; this year my patience was sorely tested by stores actually putting out Christmas shit BEFORE FUCKING HALLOWEEN.  But because I’ve gone over this so many times before, I’m going to give y’all a break from my anti-gun-jumper, anti-“Black Friday” shrieking; those of you who haven’t read one of my day-after-Thanksgiving rants before (or those who have, but are feeling a tad masochistic today) can click on the links I’ve helpfully provided there for the last four such polemics.  Instead, I’m going to give you three wonderful ways you can help St. Nick’s favorite people, whores and children, this holiday season.

1) SWOP Behind Bars has a new program that will help you bring some cheer to incarcerated sex workers.  Seasonal depression affects many people, but for people locked up in prisons it must be almost unimaginably difficult to bear.  Getting mail is one of the few bright spots in their days, and even if you don’t have the time or dedication for a full-time pen pal, SWOP is making it easy for you to send greeting cards to them:

You provide greeting cards and stamps…
We provide names and mailing addresses of incarcerated sex workers…
…Your guests can send holiday greetings and messages of cheer and goodwill without taking on a full time pen pal!

Just click on this link and write a short email saying how many guests you expect at your party; SWOP “will send you the names of 3 incarcerated sex workers per guest to send a card to!”  Such an easy, inexpensive way to show support, and if you want to do more you can send them books from their wishlists!

2) Every year at this time, I run a “Toys for Tots” special: from today until Friday, December 16th, anyone who books with me for at least an hour at my normal rate and brings new, unwrapped toys will receive an extra 10 minutes per toy (maximum 60 extra minutes for 6 toys).  For just one short trip to a toy store or big-box store and a modest expenditure, you can double your time with me and bring joy to a needy child who might otherwise be cheated of a holiday gift.  If you don’t want a date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  And if you don’t live near me, please consider donating a toy or money anyway!

3) The Salvation Army is a horrible, anti-sex organization which uses a large fraction of its income to fund anti-whore and anti-GLBT campaigns; though its bell-ringers are ubiquitous at this time of year, please DO NOT give them any money!  Contribute to either of the worthy causes above, or if you prefer charities which help the homeless there are many more deserving than the Sallies, such as this one headed by my friend, Allena Gabosch.  And if you want to be like a politician and “send a message”, you can print out the protest slip below and shove it into a kettle in lieu of real money.

Do any one, or all three!  Because they’re all a lot more positive and life-affirming than trampling children to get 20% off a new blu-ray player or something.Salvation Army donation

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »