Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PERSONAL NEWS #135
On Thursday, November 22nd, I joined other volunteers at St Paul’s Church on Westside of Manhattan to help out with “Project Find” and homebound seniors. I learned of this wonderful charity service via Marble Collegiate Church. Last year I volunteered via City Harvest and helped out at an upper Westside women’s shelter on Turkey Day. City Harvest never got back to me regarding Turkey Day volunteering, so when Marble Collegiate called I offered my time. Turkey Day itself turned out to be a sunny, balmy day and I had to be at St Paul’s around 9:30am. Once I got off the subway at Columbus Circle stop I had to work my way through the parade crowds. Due to the nice weather large numbers of families attended the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Checked in with “Project Find” at the church and was paired up with a driver [Pearl] and another volunteer [Kevin]. Both were really nice people and we enjoyed some terrific conversations. After some waiting around in the great hall, we got the allotted “Project Find” tote bags filled with goodies for the homebound seniors. Each driver and their team had 12 bags each, and then it was time to get the Turkey dinners to go with those bags. Another long line and wait, then we headed out to Pearl’s car with the goodies and drove up to West 71st Street with the windows down. The balmy air felt so good. Felt more like a late summer day with the sun warming our faces. We made the rounds and out of the 12 stops only 8 people were at home. Pearl knew some homebound folk in her neighborhood and would bring the remaining turkey dinners to them. Back at St Paul’s Church the festivities were in full swing and a band was playing 1940s style music. The volunteers had a choice of either staying or heading out with a free “Project Find” goodie tote bag. I chose the latter, nibbled on free goodies and headed home via subway to relax rest of the day.

Friday through Sunday, November 23rd/25th; I visited my family in upstate NY for the remainder of the holiday weekend. The weather turned cooler and typical of November. Over the weekend I helped my parents put icicle lights on front of the house, beads & Xmas shopping, visit hairdresser, help Mom around the house, dinner with relatives, reading and watch some cable TV. It was nice to get out of the city for a few days.

Tuesday, November 27th, was a special NYC Kucinich Team meeting to deal with the signed petitions and get them prepped for Board of Elections. The deadline in handing in signed petitions was Thursday, December 6th, in Albany. Yep, it was crunch time, and this petition organizing seemed to take on a life all its own. Yeah, I guess you could say it got abit stressful. David Bright [Kucinich campaign ballot access director] came to NYC to help with the procedure and headed up to Boston the following day. I’m so thankful to David for all his help, support and guidance during this time. I’m also thankful to Phoebe and Thomas in getting us the space at New School near Union Square. On Thursday many volunteers showed up to the meeting and we spent 2 hours processing the signed petitions. In the end we tallied 4300 signatures and need 5000+ by or before December 6th. Asked everyone to pitch in and work hard over next week to bring in more signatures for the campaign. We need another 1000 signatures to put us in the clear. When I got home that evening I sent out an urgent email to all.

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On Thursday evening, November 29th, many of us New Yorkers got to see and hear Kucinich speak at two events. I missed the first one, which was a two-hour rally held at COSM in the Chelsea area. Heard from some volunteers that it was a terrific turnout with about 300 people packed into CosMosis and many petition signatures were garnered. The crowd was so appreciative of DJK, which is always heartening. That evening, at Community Church on East 35th Street, I attended a fundraiser hosted by the New York Iranian/American Community. Several members of this community worked on DJKs campaign back in 2004. While waiting at the entrance for some of the NYC Kucinich Team volunteers, Dennis showed up with two members from his campaign staff. He had to walk past me to get into the elevator. I smiled warmly and greeted the Congressman. Before Dennis got into the elevator, he turned around to me and said “I remember you from an event you organized in Long Island two years ago”. Needless to say, I was stunned that he remembered me from an event in April 2005. An event I organized with a fellow NYC Kucitizen [Ellen J] and it was very much a success. Dennis and I spoke briefly about that event and then he gave me a hug, plus said “thank you for all you do”, then he popped into the elevator. WOW! Could have knocked me over with a feather after that and a fellow Team Member [Lane] was thrilled to view the exchange. DJK gave a 25 minute talk on many important issues/topics, plus did a Q&A segment. He was in good form, very personable, sincere and it was standing room only at the event. Team members got more signatures on their petitions and I was kept very busy talking to, plus instructing new petition volunteers. Was exhausted when I left with Linda G after 9:30pm and we headed to the subway. It was a good day for Kucinich and a productive day for our Team Members.

[Duchess Note: A courageous vote for Kucinich during "Super Tuesday" is the only vote worth casting. Strength, truth and justice through peace.]

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