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Posts Tagged ‘Toys for Tots’

Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help both by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special.  Since I’m now semi-retired, I’ve changed the deal, but the new way is open to more people anyway.  From now until Friday, December 10th, everyone who donates $100 for me to buy toys with (you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or via Cash app to $MaggieMcNeill) will get any two of my books (your choice), autographed!  And if you’re one of my regular gents, we can still do the usual deal (30 minutes extra per $100) if you prefer.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); the economy still hasn’t rebounded yet, and rising inflation is taking a bite out of many people’s income, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #546

I was concerned that this year’s toy drive would provide meager results, but I was very happy to be proven wrong.  My usual stalwarts, came through, plus a couple who have never donated before; altogether I got quite the haul, as you can see!  The reason it may look like more than usual is that I generally make two or even three trips to the collection center before I’m done, but I normally don’t need to drive to Olympia to do it.  So this year, after making sure that the last collection day was December 17th, I decided to do it all in one load today (Grace has a doctor appointment just a few blocks away from the center, so it was easy).  The trip also gives me the opportunity to do a bit of last-minute shopping for a few friends, so it worked out perfectly.  And thanks to my generous donors, I was able to still provide my usual small help to needy kids in a year when there are likely to be many more of them than usual.

 

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Diary #545

I’m getting much better at scheduling my in-town appointments as closely together as possible so as to minimize the amount of time I spend in Seattle.  Last week, I drove in on Tuesday afternoon; did some shopping with a friend; had a hair appointment at 11:30 Wednesday morning; had my nails done at 2:00; saw one of my favorite gentlemen at 4:30; then drove back to Sunset early Thursday afternoon.  At first I thought I might have to extend my trip by a day to do toy shopping (I’ve already received $600 and several purchased toys from generous donors), but the day before I left I discovered that the Toys for Tots collection center in Olympia is on the west side of town, near many other places I know well (doctor’s office, Trader Joe’s, etc).  So that means I can take my time buying toys this week, and I can deliver them a week from today when I take Grace to a doctor’s appointment just a few blocks away from the collection center.  Look for my usual picture of the haul next week!  And the week after that, I’ll make one last run into Seattle just before Christmas.

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Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special.  This year, I’m doing it differently because so many people are doing the social distancing thing.  From now until Friday, December 11th, everyone who donates $100 for me to buy toys with (you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or via Cash app to $MaggieMcNeill) will get any TWO of my books (your choice), autographed!  If you want a copy of The War on Whores as one of your selections, that’s fine as well!  And if you’re one of my regular gents, we can still do the usual deal (30 minutes extra per $100) if you prefer.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); the pandemic has taken a huge bite out of many people’s income, and some have lost their jobs or businesses entirely, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #493

As so often happens, I got a lot more donations of money for my toy drive than actual toys, and that’s fine with me!  I rather enjoy shopping for toys, especially when Jae comes with me because she gets so excited and keeps popping up at cartside with some new discovery and “Look how cool this is!” or its equivalent.  So far I’ve received three toys (including the Lego set at the left of the picture) and $750 in donations, and in three shopping trips last week I’ve already spent $530 and dropped one very full load off at the Toys for Tots collection center.  The drive ends this week, though, so if you’d like to contribute please send me your donation by Thursday at the absolute latest!  If you intend to take advantage of the special, let me know; it’s OK if you can’t actually see me this week because I won’t forget.  Last year one of my gentlemen took months to actually get around to making his appointment, and I still honored our bargain; while that’s not an ideal situation, the most important thing is to get as many toys into the hands of underprivileged children as we and the Toys for Tots volunteers can manage.

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Diary #441

Today is the very last day of my annual Toys for Tots special; you can still claim it if you book and pay today, even if we can’t manage an actual meeting today (which we almost certainly won’t, since I’ve got several things to do).  This year I got over $1000 in cash donations and several toy donations; I’ve already made two drops at the collection center and plan to make my final one tonight (unless I get any last-minute donations, in which case the local coordinator assures me we can squeak them in tomorrow or the next day).  I really enjoy doing this drive every year, and I’m happy to help children in need; however, like so many good things it’s very energy-intensive, so I’m rather glad the program-imposed deadline is two weeks before Christmas Day.  That gives them time to organize distribution, and me time to finish the rest of my own Christmas shopping and other preparations.  As usual, you’ll notice my blog schedule bounce around a little over the holidays, but it’ll be back to normal by the end of the second week of January; meanwhile, I’m going out to Sunset a few days before Christmas, so if you want to schedule during the holidays you need to either be flexible or contact me well in advance (preferably both).  Because the thing I want most for Christmas is some much-needed rest.

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Diary #440

My “Toys for Tots” special started with a bang this year, with $500 in donations in the first couple of days.  The picture below was the result of spending the first $350, and this week I’ll be doing another round; I’ve discovered it’s more fun to take Jae with me on the shopping trips because she gets really excited and it’s good to have another viewpoint on what kids might like.  Last week we even turned it into an outing, with dinner afterward.  I’m also doing some shopping for my own Christmas presents and assisting Santa with stocking stuffers, and working out my schedule for my various commitments for the holiday season.  It’s a lot of work and juggling, but it always feels rewarding.  And come Boxing Day I’ll be able to put up my feet and relax without feeling guilty about it.  Anyhow, the special ends one week from today, so if you’re going to take advantage of it, don’t dawdle!  Remember, you only need to book the appointment and pay the toy portion of the fee by then; we can schedule the appointment for later if you like, and you can relax knowing you’ve helped needy children to have a little joy on Christmas morning.

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It’s getting harder every year to avoid being exposed to premature Christmas decorations and music; this year I saw a few things in late September.   SEPTEMBER.  And I was seeing “Black Friday” garbage in my garbage email long before Halloween (I have a standing filter which automatically trashes any email with “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” in the subject line).  But in the past few years I’ve learned to minimize my non-grocery shopping in October and November so as to avoid being enraged by hasty idiots who don’t understand the concept of timeliness, so it wasn’t intolerable.  Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids. If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special, which for a small expenditure will allow you extra time with me while bringing a little bit of joy to needy children.  From now until December 11th, book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys). Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule. If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  If you don’t live near me, please consider donating via PayPal (to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) or Cash app (to $MaggieMcNeill) anyway; make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind).  And if you want to take advantage of the special but don’t have time to actually see me by the 11th, that’s OK too; you can prepay and schedule the appointment for later.  I want to make this as easy as possible for you, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #389

Yesterday I wrapped up my annual Toys for Tots drive, which turned out to be the best one since I arrived in Seattle!  Today I’m taking all of these toys to the collection center, and I want to offer a big thank-you to everyone who donated (and to all those who donated to your own local drive).  Christmas is less than two weeks away now; I’ll be driving up to Sunset a week from Saturday with Jae in tow, and we’re going to spend the holiday with Grace.  But from now until January 6th (discounting the holiday weekend) I’m offering a holiday special for regular readers and subscribers.  Interested?  You’ll need to email me for details!  But I will say it’s available even if I have to travel to you, though the details are a bit different.  As usual, serious inquiries only please!  And if you’re inclined to get me a present, donations of any size are always welcome, and I’m going to try to add more to my Amazon wishlist!

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Diary #388

This year, just about everyone who took advantage of my Toys for Tots special gave me cash, so I’ve made several shopping trips; Jae was a tomboy when she was young, so she came along on the second trip and helped me pick out boys’ toys.  I try to roughly balance boys’ toys, girls’ toys, unisex toys (such as games & puzzles) and small children’s toys, and while I usually make more than one trip to the dropoff location I think I might do it all in one load this time, just because it’s more impressive.  Remember, the last day is Monday the 11th, only six days from today; if you don’t have time to see me before that, you can send the $100 in advance and I’ll honor it for your appointment later.  In case you’ve forgotten the details, here they are again:

book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys).  Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule.  If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  And if you don’t live near me, please consider donating via PayPal or Google wallet anyway; use my regular email address (maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) and make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind)…

Whores and children are Saint Nick’s favorites, so it has always seemed appropriate to me that at his special time of year, the former should make a special effort to help the latter.

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