Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free Time: Connecting the dots into a fractal.

Distance and time provide clarity. Sleep mitigates grumpiness.

I got some sleep last night, which was great. A full eight hours. That hasn't happened for a while.

And today was a day off from my real job.

About 11 am, I started really thinking about my next step.

I re-read all the emails with Mr. Fab. We did a bit of processing, and I scraped a few brain cells together during some alone time, trying to connect the dots.

And the dots seemed to eventually take the shape of a fractal.

Not to condescend to my Smarty McSmarterson readers, but a fractal is something that can be split into parts, each of which is a copy of the original.

Today was Fractal Day.

Because I realized I can't do this project all by myself. And I also realized that everyone can do just what I've done.

While culling through the emails I'd received, I thought that perhaps the charitable organizations that were offering to take my Free Time items could be partnered with the people who have offered to donate items to my experiment. I sent a few emails, and I think those connections have a good start.

I talked with Jan from the 32nd Avenue Jubilee Center, and she was very receptive to the idea of distributing items to her clients. The Jubilee Center is a non-profit community center in northwest Denver that works with low income and homeless individuals and families. The center hosts a food bank as well as varying levels of assistance, but it has a tough time finding furniture.

Jan seemed to appreciate the contacts I gave her when it came to finding some furniture, thanks to the people who emailed me with a wish to donate to this project.

I'd encourage other folks to contact the Jubilee Center at 303-477-3944. I'm sure the people at Jubilee would be jubilant to hear from you. As Jan wrote to me as a follow-up to our conversation today, "this is a fine example of the power of one combined with the power of many, particularly when the one and the many are seeking to do justice in the world."

Well put. Sounds like a societal, community kind of fractal.

I also emailed back and forth a bit with the folks from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (303-293-2217). A'tif works for the coalition. He mentioned that the coalition is constantly looking for items to provide to needy families and individuals. He, like Jan, indicated that they can pick up whatever you don't need. Both groups are especially in need of furniture, which goes to those who are transitioning from homelessness to having a place to live.

Which brings me to my most fun fractal. I chatted today with the woman who will most likely receive the majority of my Free Time yield. I'm meeting with her and Michelle, her case worker from the St. Francis shelter, on Saturday.

There are so many other people I wish I could accommodate, but I realized today that there are resources that extend past my 10'x20' storage area, and every single resource is filled with people ready to give.

In addition to the organizations I've mentioned, people in need can contact the Denver Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. I'm sure these organizations will be receptive to those in need.

Because if I've learned nothing else from this experiment, we're all in this together.

Like a beautiful, interconnected, colorful, generous fractal.

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