Garland Gives

One Day…Many Hands…Side-by-Side

I attended the Women in Water luncheon last week at Texas Water, where Ft. Worth Mayor Betsy Price was the keynote speaker. She made two comments that stuck with me: “You have to give back to the community where you live” and “Being connected to the community helped shape my career” since that was ten days before “Garland Gives.”  The “Garland Gives” day of community service demonstrates the central role of Garland’s leaders in building community vitality at every level.  To read about the projects Leadership Garland Class 35 (#TheBESTClass) selected, visit the Garland Gives page.

We started planning for this day in November, 2015.  Five months, various planning meetings and conference calls later, it is HERE!  My intention was to blog for the past five months about this journey, but that didn’t happen.  But I do intend to blog this week about our experiences and update the timeline along the way.  Cheers!

Friday, April 22 – The three “Project Overall Directors” (AKA the Tri-PODs – Rockin’ Robert, Persistent Patricia, and Can-Do Cynthia) have a conference call (we like to call them “POD”-casts) to discuss possible rubber chickens.  Right now we are facing the possibility of rain during most of next week and through the weekend, and not having enough volunteers to help move mulch at Jonathan’s Place.  We have ordered the equivalent of 500 bags of mulch.  The phrase “That’s a lot of mulch” is repeated no less than 10 times during the conversation.  We are all slightly worried.   That’s a lot of mulch!

Saturday, April 23 – Project prep work has begun at Good Samaritan’s as two team members prep the picnic area.
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Sunday, April 24 (Updated at 9:45PM) – I get word that the Good Samaritan project has a line on a DJ rather than just an iPod and speakers. Make mental note to update the special events permit and resubmit when I get to the office tomorrow. Better yet, email myself a note. There’s also more prep work being done for the Good Sam project as Epic Sernerick is prepping the wood. #bossup2016
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Weather continues to be worrisome, as I receive an email from the Office of Emergency Management about the forecast for the week. #fingerscrossed #prayforsun  I am now wondering: Will they deliver that much mulch in stormy weather? I text one of the other PODs so they can worry along with me….

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You know what they say about Texas weather? If you don’t like it, just wait an hour and it will change! #prayforsun

Monday, April 25 (Updated at 9:23PM) – I submitted revised permit (yay me!) and then came across an old Dilbert cartoon that reminded me of this week. With the little skull representing our project day, and all of those risk factors (“rubber chickens”) pointing at a us like rain, too much mulch, not enough volunteers or wheel barrows, T-shirt orders, rain, headcount to order breakfast, rain. Doom and Gloom, I say! Yes, the thought of moving wet mulch in the rain is bringing out the nervous nelly in me. Plans are made to buy tarps to try to keep it dry upon delivery.

Courtesy of http://www.dilbert.com

No blame will be placed here.  Lessons will be learned.  We succeed or fail as a TEAM and we choose not to fail.  Weather is a factor beyond our control.  We can choose how to respond.  We decide to proceed as planned with breakfast as scheduled.  A final Go/No-Go Decision will be made at 8:00 AM by each project manager on project day.

My day is spent at work, shooting off reminder emails to project leads, and trying to herd cats. I had two simple requests. Approximately 30 emails and 12 hours later, I have my answers. This day has worn me out. I feel my fibromyalgia may be trying to rear its ugly head. I do not have time for this right now. Get me through the next 10 days and then I will collapse.

Tuesday, April 26 – Relatively light day. The nightly conference call mainly consists of discussing how much breakfast to buy and the weather and possible bad weather plans. More doom and gloom.  On the bright side, instead of a fibro-flare (or maybe in addition to) I feel like I am coming down with something. Please, not now. I am speaking tomorrow at a regional user group day. Our project day is Saturday. And our Austin trip is next week. One week and then I will collapse….

Wednesday, April 27 – I check in with my two project teams (New Beginning Center and Good Samaritans) to see if they need anything. These two teams are ROCK STARS I tell you. They are busy with prep work and have begun executing their plans. It is great to work with teams that are so well organized and have great attitudes.  Rain or Shine, we are doing this! With a little humor and grace sprinkled in!

Thursday, April 28 – √Breakfast ordered.  √Permit and DJ for Good Samaritans confirmed. Volunteers, including some of the Youth Leadership Garland team, have been busy emptying the food pantry into a POD so shelving rebuild can happen on Friday. √Mulch delivery at Salvation Army. [NOTE: Jonathan’s Place will have 3x this much mulch. So when we say, “That’s a lot of mulch!” we mean it. Yikes!]

√9PM conference call wrapped up and so far no rubber chickens. √Email reminders sent. √Time to rest…I was under the effects of antihistamines all day.  Tomorrow will be busier. No rest for the weary!

Friday, April 29 – T-minus 24 hours! I wake up and set my alarm for tomorrow for 4:45AM, so I can get there to set up for breakfast. I receive more project emails. I send more project emails. I am still feeling the effects of the antihistamine I took yesterday morning. I am debating whether I give myself permission to take another day off from working out. Maybe if I work out the drugged effect will go away… I decide to suck it up.

On the schedule for today is √buying flip-flops for the kids at Jonathan’s Place, √dropping off professional clothing at New Beginning Center’s resale shop, √checking in at Salvation Army to get water donations dropped off and check on things for breakfast, √picking up canned food for Good Samaritan’s and √dropping those off, √printing signs and more details, √9 PM conference call.  While I am out during the day, I monitor the progress over at Good Samaritan’s, which is the biggest project of the weekend. It has been a week-long effort and things are coming along nicely.

I come home and collapse. I work on signs and goodie bags for each project manager. They have removed rain from tomorrow’s forecast, so we will only be dealing with wet mulch to move and mud to till and plant in at the outdoor projects.  “Yay!” to not working in the rain! It’s time to get some rest, because tomorrow is…

PROJECT DAY! – Less than 5 hours sleep and out of the house by 6:10AM to get breakfast set up. We had a great turn out, a few words from our Mayor and City Manager, and then it’s “off to the races”. Before I could get breakfast cleaned up, our first rubber chicken of the day. And off I go to Home Depot to try to get a new hose for a power washer. Overall the day was a success, all projects met their goals, finished early, and no blood was shed. There was even some dancing going on over at one of the projects. I will post the end products soon. Now, I rest….

Come back to see how the week unfolds, and tell me about the “rubber chickens” you have encountered this week.

Cheers!
“Can-Do” Cynthia

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Author: PhotoBaugh

Wife. Mom. Fibro-warrior. Joy seeker. California girl living in Texas. Always learning. Not afraid to fail. Life's too short to drink bad coffee.

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