Yesterday Happy Geek talked about rescuing a quilt rack from the curb that Mr. Garbage Man refused to take away. I was feeling happy that I don't do that until I had several moments of memories flooding back to me from the years that I worked with children. Children's programming always wants chi-chi (cheap and cheerful) items. I've provided some of them for your entertainment:
- There was the year that we had a western themed summer camp. Kids love cowboys and we are in Alberta so it all works, right? One of the crafts was a rattler snake made out of old ties and the plastic film containers-it was really cool. We won't have an issue getting people to donate 120 old ties and plastic film containers, right? A photoshop provided two large bags of film containers.... now onto the ties. We were getting so close to the wire and we only had about 40 ties. One of my coworkers' wives came to my rescue and provided two full garbage bags of them-they had received many from widows as they cleaned out their late husband's clothing. Try begging people for old ties and you learn humility.
- For this same camp, we wanted to build a 'fence' of authentic outer edges of wood. Isn't that cool? In an effort to not pay for this stuff and be able to find it, my intern, volunteer and I drove about 90 minutes to her grampa's saw mill (conveniently located in the middle of nowhere in the mountains) and we went through all the scraps and filled the back of the half ton with all that stuff. Try driving down the freeway with little chips of wood flying off at all the people during rush hour. How do we spell hick? And I can't tell you how long it took me to pull the slivers out of my hands because I forgot to take work gloves.
- Often theme decorating would need large pieces of cardboard. Another staff member and I called so many furniture stores for big fridge boxes. However, we were desperate and I was driving down a couple of back alleys and then reversed half way back to dumpster dive for large pieces of cardboard! eBay hasn't been known to sell too many large pieces of cardboard.
I just want you to know that I am happy make a living in another challenge these days and will never 'bless' someone who works with children by dumping old Christmas cards, egg cartons, sour cream containers, bakery plastic containers on their desk on a Monday morning unless they ask for them. And I promise not to laugh at them when they request wierd things ... at least not to their face.