Thursday, August 26, 2010
Blessed Mothers and Lawn Gnomes
Glossary of canvassing terms:
Rap: The conversation you have at a door.
Contact: The person you speak to at a door.
Turf: The neighborhood or area in which you work.
Burb: The van or suburban vehicle that delivers you to turf.
Late summer/early fall canvassing to protect out Great Lakes is the best work in the world. Seriously if you're unemployed or underemployed and anywhere near Ann Arbor, you should check it out -- consider doing it three days a week for the next three months. You might love it like I do.
You meet some nasty people when you're out canvassing. Honestly, we have some horror stories about some of the people we meet on turf. But we always get the last laugh, so it's all good. You know, mean people, they just wallow in their own evilness. And then we get to swap stories and laugh about them on our ride home in the burb.
I LOVE late/summer/fall canvassing. What's better than this time of year in Michigan? What's more important than protecting our Great Lakes Water Basin that contains a fifth of the whole world's fresh water? Plus it's good exercise. And while we meet a few nasty people, most people are quite friendly -- and some people absolutely rock. Seriously, knocking on doors in Michigan neighborhoods and rural areas gives a person the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with some of the most awesome people in the world.
I love Michiganians. I love the ones who write us $60 and $200 checks and don't bat an eye doing so because they know how important the work is. But my heart really melts for the ones who are unemployed and give their last three bucks. That's sacrificial money. It matters. There's something very spiritual about it. I'm grateful Clean Water Action runs a tight ship. Nobody ever gets a fancy calendar that wastes a bunch of trees from us. We put every dollar to effective use. I sincerely believe that and it's why I love walking and knocking and asking for support for our wonderful Great Lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and drinking water.
Last night I took a sizable check from a man who proudly told me he is principal of the greenest elementary school in Michigan. They received a special award for the innovative recycling program the teachers and kids implemented. How cool is that, just to randomly knock on the door of the principal of the greenest elementary school in Michigan? That's the type of cool stuff that happens every day with the canvas.
Last night I also happened to canvas a well-shaded street that very well might have the most concentrated placement of Blessed Mother statues in the United States. Seriously, they were everywhere, uniquely placed, sometimes hidden and occasionally accompanied by lawn gnomes and/or angels. Most people know I inherited a special devotion to the Blessed Mother from my mother and grandmothers. So, I happened to find that pretty cool.
We had a fantabulous time canvassing last night. I took some suggestions from some of the young people who I work with and switched up my rap a bit. It worked for me. Instead of focusing on our campaign to get a permanent ban on off-shore drilling in the Great Lakes, I focused on our fight to stop out-of-state garbage. Only about three people in Michigan don't understand the importance of the out-of-state trash issue. A few more are confused about the off-shore drilling issue. In addition, I switched up my language for fundraising. Instead of saying, "The fundraising is simple... bla bla bla..." I started saying, "We keep fundraising super simple so that everyone can get involved." These changes and the long street lined with Blessed Mothers made all the difference in my night. I exceeded my goal for the evening and now I'm not only back on track for the week but a bit ahead for the week after having two bad nights in a row.
Oh, and that cute guy I met on Sunday (you know the six-foot-four former basketball player guy), he wasn't scared off by the fact that I mentioned him in my blog. He said it made him blush. Yay! Date's still on for Saturday though I've no idea what we are doing. It's going to be some sort of mix of business and pleasure, I gather. But I can tell you he's super sweet. He called last night as I was walking to the parking garage after work. He said I don't have to worry about anything I write about him in my blog. "It's your blog," he said. "You can write whatever you want."
Yes. I like it!
Posted by Patty at 8:15 AM