Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The End

Lent is only halfway through, but I have decided to stop sending daily donations. Suffice it to say I no longer feel called in this way, and the act of giving became more of a regimented daily burden than a joyful act of giving back. I feel I did some good during the first 21 days, and today, in fact, I will be donating blood to the Red Cross. This also isn’t to say I will never be donating to anyone ever again, but I feel a certain release from my ‘assignment’ during Lent.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Donation Day 21: True Light Covenant Church

This is the church I've been attending since I stepped down from the worship team at Abundant Life in Northfield. You can visit their website at www.truelightcov.com.

Donation Day 20: Gas Money for Friends

Today I didn't send money to a non-profit; I opted instead to financially support some of my friends who are Spring Break road-tripping to visit one of their houses in Colorado. Being college students, they have very little disposable income, so my contribution to their gas money fund was both appropriate and greatly appreciated.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Donation Day 19: Metropolitan Boys Choir

Years ago, when I was in middle school, I sang in the Metropolitan Boys Choir. In addition to the opportunity to perform at Orchestra Hall (quite an honor at any age, but especially to someone so young), being in the MBC helped teach me stage-presence. Even now, almost every time I sing or play in front of a group (which, after helping lead worship at a church this past summer, has grown to be a substantial number of times), some lesson from MBC comes flashing back to my mind. Bea Hasselmann and David Frank, thank you.

You can learn more about the Metropolitan Boys Choir at mbchoir.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Donation Day 18: KLOVE Radio

KLOVE is a nationally broadcast Christian radio station, with at least two translators in the Minneapolis/St Paul area, and several on the road to Des Moines (there are many more, those are just the ones I happen to frequent). You can learn more about their station and ministry at www.klove.com.

PS: I chose to forgo a donation yesterday. Partly I was feeling weary, mostly I felt as if I would have been giving out of obligation, which is not the right reason.

"Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have." ~ 2 Corinthians 8:12, NLT

Monday, March 16, 2009

Donation Day 17: Christ Church Preschool Food Collection

The Christ Church Lutheran Preschool (where my Mom teaches), along with the congregation, is making an extra effort to collect a “food mountain” during March, which will then be donated to the Minnehaha Pantry. An excellent place to put the cans of (not-yet-expired) soup from my cupboard.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Donation Day 16: Minnehaha Academy Library

While cleaning my basement I found several boxes of books with which I was ready to part, so I’ve offered them to the librarians at Minnehaha in case there’s anything useful in there they’d like to keep. The rest they will either sell to Half Price Books (and use the money to buy other books) or donated to MA’s Arena Sale.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Donation Day 15: The American Red Cross

The Red Cross provides emergency/disaster relief services, and is the largest blood supplier in the United States. You can learn more about them at www.redcross.org. To sign up to donate blood, visit www.givelife.org.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Donation Day 14: KTIS

KTIS is one of the radio stations I frequent while driving. I may not always agree with their theology, but I'm grateful for the music ministry they provide in the Twin Cities. You can learn more about KTIS, or listen online, at www.ktis.fm.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Donation Day 13: Compassion International

Compassion International reaches out to impoverished children around the world; You can learn more about Compassion at www.compassion.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Donation Day 12: MN Red Ribbon Ride

My friend Matthew Feeney will be riding 300 miles on a bicycle for the Red Ribbon Ride, an event which benefits seven local AIDS service organizations in Minnesota. You can learn more about the event at www.redribbonride.org, or donate specifically to Matthew's fundraising effort.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Donation Day 11: Story Board

The Story Board provides educational opportunities for student filmmakers in the Twin Cities area. You can learn more about them at www.thestoryboard.org.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Donation Day 10: Hope Academy

Hope Academy is an inner-city Christian school in Minneapolis serving grades K-12. What's especially cool is that the majority cost of tuition is paid for by donors, making the school accessible to lower income families. Their Director of Development is Dan Olson, a friend and former teacher of mine. You can learn more about Hope Academy at www.hopeschool.org.

Fixing Safari 4 Beta's Tabs

Whenever a teacher asks me a question to which I either have no good answer or, even worse, no clue, I always point them to Google as the logical place to turn. Well, last night I myself was whining to one of my computer geek friends about how ugly the new tabs are in Apple's Safari 4 public beta, and how I wish there were a way to revert them to the old style. He recommended my own advice: Google it. Sure enough, there's an easy fix! Thank you to the LifeHacker site for putting my life back in order... at least as far as tabbed browsing.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Donation Day 9: Katherine Ann Olson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Katherine Olson graduated from St Olaf College in 2006, and she was one of the cheeriest people I’ve ever known. Katherine was murdered in October 2007. This scholarship was set up in her memory to benefit Latino students who might otherwise not be able to attend college. You can learn more about Katherine, the scholarship, and the upcoming benefit concert at www.concertforkatherine.com.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Donation Day 8: The Clothes Closet at Central Lutheran Church

One of my best friends works at Central Lutheran, and since learning of the church I've admired their community outreach programs - this is a congregation that tangibly practices what they preach! Today's donation was a number of my old (barely used) sweatshirts and t-shirts; through the Clothes Closet ministry, they will be given freely to homeless people in need. You can learn more about Central Lutheran at www.centralmpls.org, and read briefly about the Clothes Closet on www.centralmpls.org/serve/community.php.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jury Duty

One of my coworkers has had to report for jury duty almost every day for the last two weeks (some were only half days). Until this evening, I found it an annoyance, an inconvenience, because by-golly there are computers that need fixing!

I've been amazed over the last several years at how keen I am on forming strong opinions (in this case, about jury duty), and then how keen God is at finding some relevant real-life event that makes me completely change my mind.

Tonight I read something about jury duty that gave me a new perspective. This is an excerpt from a Facebook group of which I'm a member:
I think it is important to mention something about serving on jury duty. Although I have never been summoned for duty, I understand the cultural annoyance with those pesky letters requiring us to take off work to serve our community. Some people have legitimate excuses for why they cannot serve; others do not. Because all of you have an interest in this case, you understand the importance of a jury and holding somebody accountable for their crime. Imagine if all the people summoned for this case, who do not know which case it is prior to opening arguments, didn’t feel like it was important enough to serve. Juries are essential for a functioning democracy. According to NPR’s This American Life, people who serve usually enjoy it once all is said and done.

For anyone who’s ever found jury duty an annoying civil obligation, I sincerely thank you for being willing to serve. My perspective has been changed.

I read that the jury selection for Katherine Olson’s murder trial will begin two weeks from now. Please pray for wisdom in the selection process, and for the future jurors themselves, that they will be able to enter the case without preconceived convictions, and that justice will be served.

Donation Day 7: Christ Church Lutheran

I grew up attending Christ Church Lutheran - my family has a long history there, and my Mom is also the director of their preschool program. You can learn more about CCL on their website, www.christchurchluth.org.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Donation Day 6: Minnehaha Food Shelf

The Minnehaha Food Shelf is an outreach of Minnehaha United Methodist, St James Episcopal, and Lake Nokomis Lutheran Churches, and distributes 9,000 pounds of food to nearly 150 families each month. You can read more on their website, www.minnehahachurch.com/modules/content/index.php?id=66.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Donation Day 5: N. C. Little Hospice

N. C. Little Hospice is a non-profit care facility in Edina. My Grandma Ruth lived there during her final days, and our entire family was well-cared for by the hospice staff and volunteers. You can learn more about N. C. Little from their website, www.littlehospice.org.

(Sundays aren't technically part of the 40 days of Lent, hence why there was no post yesterday)