Archive for April 9th, 2010

I know what you might be thinking…Day 116?!  What happened to Days 109-115?  Did Reed take a break?  Did he forget to tell us all that he is entitled to 2 weeks of “paid” vacation…i.e. not paying others! 🙂  Nope, that’s not the case.  I am simply behind on the administrative side of my year-long experience.  But don’t worry.  To steal and modify a great Teddy Kennedy quote, the giving goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.The reason that I am posting Day 116 today is that I had the honor of sharing my giving experience today with Liane Hansen and Jack Zahora of NPR.  Many of you probably already know Liane as the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.  Jack is a NPR producer for the show.  They are putting a story together for this Sunday’s program, which airs from 8am to 10am on WAMU here in DC.  The show is broadcasted on more than 600 stations around the country…so check your local NPR station to see when it will be on.  Later that day the story will be posted on http://www.npr.org.

It is strange to meet someone that you have heard for years but don’t really know.  Liane didn’t disappoint…she was great.  I’m guessing she has pretty much worked every weekend for the last 20 years…would you be willing to do that? 

Anyway, so they were following me around.  I was in the Chinatown neighborhood looking for a recipient and found Molly. 

Molly (Photo: Reed)

Molly was walking her bike down 7th Street when I pulled her over to talk to me.  She seemed like she was in a bit of a hurry at first, but probably was just more skeptical of what I was doing than anything else.  It turns out that at the age of 31 Molly has returned to school to make a career change.  She is studying nutrition at the University of Maryland after having a career in marketing and communications.   

I asked her what she was doing today and she said that she had been studying and now was rewarding herself with a little shopping trip.  “Although I should probably be studying now” she said. 

She said that she was going to use the $10 to buy a couple of grande skim lattes at Starbucks.  Although she decided to use the money for herself, she sounds like a pretty dedicated giver.  She has volunteered her time teaching exercise classes to women in shelters, tutored children in coursework, helped out at So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.), helped an organization that offered tax assistance to low income individuals, etc.  Pretty impressive.  She also has an internship with DC Hunger http://www.dchunger.org/ whose mission it is to eliminate hunger in the District.

Liane Hansen interviewing Molly while Jack captures sound (Photo: Reed)

Molly was a terrific sport.  I hope that you have the opportunity to hear our interaction on the NPR segment this Sunday!

Oh, and if anybody wants to help this aspiring nutritionist, she is in dire need of a good biochemistry tutor!  Somebody help!

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Tidal Basin (Photo: Reed)

Last Thursday was April Fool’s Day.  I decided to do the tourist thing here in DC and check out the cherry blossom mania down by the Tidal Basin.  I took my camera down there and pretended to know what I was doing.  I got a couple of shots…but I am still learning a lot about how to fully use my camera to take better photographs.

Photo courtesy of Donna and John

Anyway, as I was walking around I was asked to take a photo of a young couple, Donna and John.  I obliged and then asked them to accept my $10.  John’s reaction was amazing.  He was the first person who I have approached about receiving my $10 who actually knew about the Year of Giving.  He said he read about it I think on Yahoo! News.  Looking back on it I might have taken advantage of the April Fool’s date and said, “Hah!  I’m not that guy giving $10!  April Fools!”  But I wasn’t that quick-witted to deliver such a line.

Me with Donna and John (Photo: Kimon Kanelakis)

I’m glad I didn’t do that because then I wouldn’t have learned what a great couple they are.  John works for the government and Donna is studying hearing and speech science.  She wants to eventually work in audiology and do newborn hearing screenings.  In fact if anyone knows anyone else who is in this field in the DC area and might perhaps be a good contact for Donna, she would really appreciate your help.  She hopes to get an internship or job this summer doing newborn screening.

Check out this video of the cherry blossoms and a brief interview with Donna and John.  They have a great story about finding love amidst struggling economic times after the subprime mortgage crisis.  They are not sure what they will do with the $10 yet, but as you will see in the clip, they agreed to update us once they have decided.

On a separate note, I updated the Statistics page…sorry that was pretty outdated.  Average age has stayed pretty consistent and so did the number one answer for where the money will go: “Food & Beverage”.  “Gave the Money to Someone Else” has become the second most common response, replacing “Transportation.”

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