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biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

If you watch A Christmas Story on December 24th nonstop like I do, you know that the holidays are a perfect time to receive pink bunny pajamas, fragile electric legs, and Red Rider BB Guns. But they're also a great time to reach out and give a helping hand to someone that needs it.

On Thursday, December 17th, a bunch of us from headquarters will head down to The Family Giving Tree, an organization near and dear to our hearts that provides holiday gifts to underprivileged children. We're volunteering for a few hours to sort and wrap gifts, move boxes, and generally do whatever they need us to do. We don't know if we'll be able to tape it, but we'll definitely at least post pictures here in the thread.

That got us thinking - Gaians at their core are caring, compassionate people. We see it on the forums every day. So we wanted to encourage and celebrate anyone who's either doing, or has already done, something to help out their community this holiday season, and came up with this "Gaia Doin' Good" event/theme/thingy.

If you're doing any volunteering, helping out, or general do-goodery this month, we want you to do a few things:

1) Take pictures if you can
2) post them to the thread with a description of the event and what you're doing
3) send us an email to membertalk@gaiaonline.com with the URL to your post (click on the little yellow icon right by the word "posted" on the right to get the specific URL).

While pictures are great, it's ok if you can't take them - just give us a description of what you did, post it, and send it over as described above.

We'll take all the pictures and descriptions and move them to the front of this thread to show off the power of Gaia Doin' Good. We'll even pick a lucky few at random to receive a gold reward (with a bonus amount if you can work in a Gaia logo in the picture - that's not photoshopped, of course).

We can't wait to see some of these!
biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Hi everyone,

As you can see, we've been busily moving stories and pictures to the front of this thread for the last few days, and we hope to see a few more before the month is out. It's amazing to see the collective good Gaians are doing in their local areas - it's just another reason we here at HQ are proud to be part of this community!

As promised, we brought the video camera with us when we went to volunteer last Thursday and put together this video. We're working embedding it directly into this post, but that involves some behind-the-scenes hocus pocus from our devs. In the meantime, you can check out the video here:

(HTML elided)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0-v77PlULY

Enjoy!
biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Shiruba Larka
I'm doing a lot this month...I mainly volunteer at our local Humane society but I also have one day where I go around to all sorts of different places like Bell Minor Nursing Home and christmas carol for the residents there. I also give donations to the Animal Control Shelter, Good News at Noon (kinda like a salvation army thing), and My Sister's Place (abused women's and children's home), and the local food bank. This Saturday I'm going with a club from my school to help clean up and decorate a house that Habitat for Humanity just finished building. I have to get a lot of community service in because of a portfolio for one of my clubs.

Here are pics:

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pbandblackeyedsusans
Just in time for the holidays, I had my head shaved for cancer awareness. It was a school sponsored event, so around 36 students including myself became cueballs. There were many people that I shaved my head for, including a facilitator at a youth group I attend, my grandfather who passed away from leukemia September 10th last year, my grandmother who died of lung cancer before I was born, and a friend in my Drawing and Painting class who recently celebrated her 2nd anniversary of being cured of cancer.

BEFORE:
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AFTER:
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Sorreltail
I've collected blankets for the animals at the SPCA. I put boxes out at grocery stores and every other day the boxes would be full. Not only would there be blankets but also food, toys, and many other items. I helped out at a Christmas party for the visually impaired by getting their food for them and by escorting them to wherever they want to go. I also gave and wrapped gifts for the needy and I handed out books that have been donated to children at an Elementary school. I love the feeling you get when you help out others in need. It's so warm and fuzzy!
Here are some pictures of my SPCA project.
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sessigirl
I have been volunteering at a non profit stable where they give horse back riding lessons to people of all ages with special needs such as Autism, Amputees, Down Syndrome, and many others. The horseback riding helps them with many things from learning skills to Self confidence. So far I have volunteered there for almost 2 years and every year they have a christmas party called "Deck the Stalls" Where the kids can see the horses over winter and also see Santa.

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missysamantha
I'm the President of a school community service club, Etiwanda Tri-Unite. For December, we worked with Los Angelas's The Giving Spirit, in which we donate items to shove into duffel bags to distribute to the homeless. This was on December 12, 2009, just on saturday, when it was raining cats and dogs.

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that's the club members (this is only about the quarter of the members. there are more in the back. xD) waiting outside the center where we'd be working that day. we're all cold, but happy!


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a member with the donations in the background.

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and after all those hours of hard work, all those duffel bags ready to give to the homeless!!

it was priceless to pass them out to them. i'll never forget the looks on their faces as we handed them a duffel bag. it broke my heart. some of them were wary and suspicious and wouldn't take one until we opened up the bag to show them what was inside. and when they saw everything...some started crying. some didn't want to take the blankets we offered them. because they felt as if they were talking TOO much. so we had to shove the blankets in the bags as well so they'd take the bag. others were so ecstatic when they saw us handing them this big black bag. they didn't know what was inside...but they had faith and hope. and the looks on the children's and families faces.... it was heartbreaking. and an experience that me, nor my club members, will ever forget....




3mergenC
House for Humanity

The House for Humanity is a disaster relief shelter designed to accommodate people who have been displaced from their homes due to natural disasters. Different solutions are used all over the world when it comes to housing disaster victims or refugees many are of poor quality and lack the fundamental elements of a home. The House for Humanity is funded and ran by Me and 17 Others. Several schemes were designed boasting deployability, modularity, cost efficiency, adaptability to locations worldwide as well as their light weight and sense of "home". Several study models were then built and a single design was chosen. Full scale mock up models were then built to test out design decisions and then final construction began. When the shelter was finished it was set up on the lawn outside of Bronswick Hall on the University of Illinois campus to draw attention to the disaster relief effort. Many students were unaware of the current conditions in which refugees and disaster victims live before visiting the House for Humanity. The ultimate goal is to submit the design to organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross with hope that they can adapt a version of the shelter and use it to help those in need.

This Project Was Started : 11/29/09
People Involved: 18

People Impacted: 36 and Counting

Photos

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(Still working on getting these Photos Up Camera is having a Freak OUT!)

For Questions or Comments on Our Project Send Us an E-Mail

Daniel Pastor ( Worker/ Designer) coolasmoose@live.com




Pureheart1975
Our company got together and adopted a family for Christmas. We were able to get them bikes and toys and clothes and other household items that were needed. It filled the back seat of an SUV with the back seat down. They're going to have a great Christmas!! For my part I got them towels as it was something the mother had asked for. I felt a little sad that she only asked for items for her household while everyone else asked for items for themselves. But I made sure to get a color she listed as her favorite and just wanted to get her something because she was soo selfless like most mothers are!

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iamnotgoodatusernames
I do a lot of work with a not for profit organization called Grassroots Giving. This is not just a holiday thing. This is a year round deal.
What does Grassroots Giving do? They hold fundraisers throughout the year. The money they raised goes to fund things like sports, art, dance, clubs, senior photos, computers, bikes and anything else a kid in our area may need. A lot of the money also goes to fund these things for kids in foster care. Being someone who grew up in foster care I know the need. Funding just isn't available from the state. Without Grassroots Giving very few kids would be able to participate in many activities other teens may take for granted.
What is it that I do? I am currently organizing a duffel bag donation drive for kids in foster care through this organization. Many kids in foster care have to carry all there belongings in trash bags from home to home. This is not only humiliating it is something no child should have to do. By knowing that this is happening and not doing anything about it I am saying to these kids that their belongings and even them are no better than trash those bags were made for.I know this because this is how I felt. The duffel bag donation drive will be taking place after the holidays.
I also help by helping at the fundraisers. I also was a guest speaker at the latest fundraiser.
If anyone would like more information about this organization and what they do here is their site.
www.grassrootsgiving.info
If this is not the appropriate place to put this link and it is removed please send me a PM and I can give you the link.

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This was taken at the Crossfit 40 fundraiser earlier this year.
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This is me giving me speech at this years Annual Night of Hope fundraiser.
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This is myself, my brother, and my good friend and mentor at this years Night of Hope fundraiser.

There are a lot photos from all the events on the website so check it out.



nova animi
...Well, it's not really a holiday story, but it's something that I love doing. About two years ago, I started volunteering at Forte Animal Rescue, a non profit, all volunteer organization that finds families for abandoned dogs. Every Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m., my fellow volunteers and I walk, feed, water, and generally take care of the dogs and speak to people about adopting.

Many of our animals have been abused, abandoned, and almost euthanized because they can't find good homes. We take them in and provide foster homes until they can find families of their own. It's especially times like these when families have to give up their dogs because they cannot afford to keep them, and we do all we can to make sure they go to a loving home. I'm so happy I volunteer because I've seen so many dogs with tragic pasts get a second chance.

Here's a video of myself, fellow volunteer (we come up around the 1 minute mark), and our supervisor with one of our dogs, Mica.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a85sjqz6dDg&feature=related

I have a picture of me on my profile if you don't believe it's me.

*edit: here's the link to our website: http://www.farescue.org/




gothic wolf demon
I volunteer every Friday at the Windsor Service Alliance, a place that hands out pre-bagged groceries to families that need them. About 200 families come every Friday to get them. I stock the shelves and hand out the bags :]

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turquoisetherogue
Turquoise's school-wide candy cane distribution



I work in a school system and see a lot of pretty sad sights when it comes to the care of some of the children. I recently discovered that I really enjoy working with them, so I decided to brighten the days of as many as I could!

I was out shopping with my boyfriend and saw a box of bob's original candy canes, 100 count. I was working the next day, and decided to pass them out. However, when I got home and began cutting them apart, I thought: "Well, shouldn't every child be entitled to a little Christmas cheer?" Two days later, I bought two more boxes along with eight cookie tins.

The candy canes were so that each child at Rock Creek Elementary (the main school I work at), would get a small, sweet treat. The cookie tins were for the teachers, so they could have a little something to munch on as well.

Each classroom this pre-Christmas week receives a bag filled with enough candy canes for the class, and a tin for the teacher. Though it isn't much, the thank you I get always is. I don't want a thing in return other than to watch the kids' "yay!" When they hear they get a treat! biggrin

Next year, I hope to be able to give out even more, perhaps even to the 4 elementary schools near my home!


A few pics:

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A few of my supplies!

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My rather pale self with one completed bag for a first grade class!







Grawrface
Every year, for the past three years, my step-dad's band plays a show for Toys for Tots. They get together and do a show with all proceeds going towards the organization. The bands play for free and local celebrities come and try to encourage people to come support it. We collect toys for children who are less fortunate. There are many more years to come that we hope to do this, and make it bigger every year.
So the show went great. We had several large bags of toys go out for donation, and, even though the turnout wasn't as big as we'd hoped, we still raised a lot of money. We collected over $500 in cash on top of the toys we brought in. It was a great night and we raised a lot of money and got a lot of toys for kids. It was a late night, but it was definitely worth it.

Here's a link to the poster for the show (I don't want to stretch out the page that much): http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/rock4tots.jpg
The bands that played are awesome guys who did this purely for charity. There was zero payment involved. Special thanks to:
F.O.G. (Five Old Guys) - http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/IMG_2297.jpg
Freak System - http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/IMG_2324.jpg
Buffalo Jones - http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/IMG_2312.jpg
And, the headliners of the night, Plastic Saints - http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/IMG_2380.jpg
Rob Keefe, head coach of the Spokane Shock - http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/IMG_2342.jpg
Not to mention, the aw-inspiring ice sculpture - http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/IMG_2284.jpg
And more pictures if you want to check them out - http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a209/wite-out/PS/Rock for Tots/
No, I'm not in any pictures, but that's because I was on the other side of the camera for the night.
We created a toy in honor of the Spokane Shock for being supporters for this event, and one kid out there in our community is going to receive a 12 inch tall stuffed version of our mascot, Shox the Fox. This is what the toy looked like in its early stage (with safety pins and all) :
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He's starting to look close to the real thing (the jersey is shaping up anyway.) :
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I've got him all sewn up, I just need the numbers on and he's done :
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Also, a class of mine raises money each year through donations from students and staff at our school so that we can buy presents and such for less fortunate families. We went out today to buy the presents we had raised over $300 to spend for 3 different families. We purchased things like clothes, toys, and movies for the families. We also bought gift cards for grocery stores. Once we got back to school with all of the stuff, we wrapped them and got them ready to send off to the families. It was definitely fun to do, but everything was so hectic that there was no time to take out a camera and snap pictures. There were 14 of us students and our teacher and we split into groups for each family. It was a lot of fun, and more people should definitely do stuff like this ^_^


Oh, and me and my mom try to do things like shoveling snow and raking leaves year round for the little old lady across the street. We've been doing it each year, usually when she's not home. We like to be sneaky about it. Recently, her husband passed away, and he'd been having health problems long before that, so I think sometime this week we're going to go out and shovel snow for her. I won't be posting any pictures of that, but it's something I like to do.

I'll also try to come up with a few more charitable things that I can do. Happy Holidays and I hope everyone else tries to do a little good too. ^_^


Take a minute of your time and click on these links!
Save The World - One Click At A Time!
On each of these websites, you can click a link to support the cause -- each click creates funding, and costs you nothing! Bookmark these sites, and click once a day!
The Hunger Site
The Breast Cancer Site
The Child Health Site
The Literacy Site
The Animal Rescue Site
The Rain Forest Site




Lovely Miasma
Well, starting last Holiday Season this lady who I know that manages a shopping center by my boyfriend's grandmother's house had this idea for 'Santa's Place'.
Basically, I helped out and... well, I loved it so much that I am doing it again this year.

Here's what it's all about:
(I apologize in advance if the photos aren't so great, I took them with my phone when we weren't very busy.)

You know when mom and dad get together and decide it's time to go get pictures with Santa?
How everyone is excited and merry... until they have to wait in line in a crowded, noisy mall for like an hour?
On top of that, mom and dad have to pay like sixty dollars for a few pictures?

Basically, the point of this place is to rid of all that hassle. To get rid of the worry that parents have about Christmas in the current economy... everything is so expensive... and kids should at -least- be able to get to see Santa, right? That's what we do... make sure that even those who can't really afford Christmas have a place they can come where it's warm and Christmassy to see Santa, and have fun. All for free.


There's a front room that's a comfortable sitting room for the parents. This front room also houses two donation boxes for Toy & Joy and Toys for Tots, two trees with age-and-gender specific tags that people can choose from if they want to get some kids toys through Salvation Army or Trillium Family Services. Last but most definitely not least (as in, they're sending out over 4,000 boxes to needy families this year) there's a collection barrel for Sunshine Division which takes non-perishable food donations. (Can you tell I say this about 20 times a day? =D)

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Here's both of the trees and the neat little carolers that go off every time someone comes in, so I know to go and greet them!





Then, a little down the hallway, there's these four rooms that the kids can play in instead of waiting in line:



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There's the game room, with foosball and air hockey.


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A neat little little popcorn machine and "theater", where we play cute christmas cartoons all day~ ♥



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The toy room! :3


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My favorite! The art room! Let's take a break and do an art project real quick....
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Like it? =D (Did I mention it was a slow day today?)



So, while some kids get to hang out in those awesome rooms for their turn, the main event is all the way at the end of the hall..... *drumroll*
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Santa himself! Parents bring their own camera and take pictures, and kids get some personal and calm time to chat with the big man.



All in all, it's a real blast. My day consists of hanging out with Santa, playing with little kids who's family can't afford to go to the big mall. I also collect and organize all sorts of toy and food donations for the aforementioned charities, who come pick them up weekly. I keep the place nice and tidy and super-duper clean because we don't want anyone passing on any germs from those sniffly noses! I work about six hours a day from Thanksgiving, all the way 'til Christmas Eve. Myself, along with some really cool kids from the local college decorated and got this all set up and prettified in OCTOBER. I've had Alvin and the Chipmunk's "Two Front Teeth" stuck in my head since before Halloween. xD


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Well, Gaia, that's just me poppin' in to spread my Holiday Cheer.
I hope that you all are having a wonderful season, and that it stays that way.

[edit]
* I wanted to add in that this is in Oregon, in the Portland-metro area, so on the off chance that you're close and know some little ones who want to see Santa, come see us!*


Lovely out. ♥
[P.S. Sorry my post is gigantic. Lol.]




Rawr Kity Rawr
This story isn't about me, but about my dad. When I was little, he had this dream. That was to become a radiologist after he retired from the U.S. Air Force and to also be a biker. Well, When I turned 15, he got the latter half of his dream. See, my parents divorced when I was 7 and he went through a series of girlfriends that I never liked. Until Bernie came along. Biker, more tattoos then I can count, and a proud nurse. My dad grew his hair out to the middle of his back and had a beard that many were envious of. It all started with just the family. He'd don a Florida Gators (He lives in Florida) Santa Claus suit and put my little cousins and cousins children on his lap. Soon, the hospital he worked at started asking him if he'd be Santa for their employee parties. Last year, he played Santa Claus at a birthday party where most of the children had Autism. The pictures below are from this and they're so priceless and adorable. This year, he played Santa for the nurses and some of the children at the hospital. He still has many more things he wants to do and Christmas isn't even here yet. The best part of it all is that he does it for free. I'm proud to say that my daddy is Santa Claus.

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darksoul_vampira
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At the games to ask for donations
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What is it and where?
Its a club called Kids Helping Kids in Patterson High School, We raise money to take underprivileged kids shopping for winter clothes, we took more than 54 kids shopping and raise more than $7,500, plus we got discounts at Kohl's(Turlock, CA) and the amount a child had for clothes was $170, we bought them the first priority which were jackets, long sleeve shirts, pants, shoes, ect. then at the end of the day, around 8 we had a Christmas party with presents for them, and had food for them too. Actually we had left over money and 12/16, 12/ 17, 12/19 they took more kids shopping. Last year i wasn't in it but they only took 43, so hopefully by every class year that comes up, more kids will be taken shopping.
How did we raise the money?
We recycled and asked for donations at football games, soccer games, powder puff game, Night Rally, basketball, and volleyball games. Thankz to all the visitors too for their help. Halloween we went door to door asking for donations, and we've asked businesses to contribute too. The Lions Club donated $1,000 on the spot. Actually Hilmar is doing this too. Thankz to Mountain Mikes for helping us out on Club Day, we got some of the profits made that day. Thankz to everyone who contributed.
It's not over yet, were actually going to help out for next semester, seniors last year at patterson high, and we'll be raising money for the upcoming Seniors who participated in Kids Helping Kids, we'll be doing a Talent Show and a Carnival, and i dont know what else, but i cant wait till those days to help out!

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Seperating the bottles from the cans.

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Parents, teachers, kids, and teenagers from Kids Helping Kids who bought the kids clothes and then came to the school to eat and later then the kids receive the presents.

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Waiting in line to checkout the clothes for the kids.

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around 4:30pm, some of the members were waiting to get a kids and start shopping, the other member were either at school waiting for a teacher and get a kids or staying and helping to decorate.
biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Gensha Bakuda
well once upon a time me my family and another a family started a local food drive for the soup kitchen. Now we got almost 4,000 lbs of food for St. Vincent de Paul!It was kind of a nut show with 10 families dropping stuff off. Some dropped off early and others late. Bernie Goold (the owner) said that the year before we started the food drive she had to loan St. Vincent de Paul $6,000 for hampers but has never had to do that since we started the drive 7 years ago. She said that the food we collected would make about 600 hampers.sorrie their is no pic. sweatdrop



sboo99
Every year at Christmas time, for as long as I can remember (I'm 23 yrs now), my mom and I organise Christmas presents for an orphanage home in the country in which I reside. The home normally gives us a list of children (consisting of a few hundred names, ages 0 years to 18 years exclaim ) and we distributed these names (and ages) to people we know and persons we work with so they can supply a Christmas gift to a child. After we collect all the gifts from people, we sit and sort them out to ensure that:

1) Every child gets a gift
2) The gift is age appropriate (we open almost every one to check because people make mistakes sometimes)
3) If it's electronic, that batteries are supplied (if not, we supply them)
4) If it's a book or a puzzle, we put something extra in it (because books and puzzles aren't really 'toys' as such and may be boring for little children) xp

Then after sorting out the gifts, we deliver it to the home on the weekend before Christmas so all the kiddies will get Christmas presents "from Santa" on Christmas morning. smile



The-Archangel-Kuro
Hello my lovely batch of Good-Doing Gaians! Archangel Kuro here with his input of good deeds.
to start off with here's a little to know about me.
I live in northern Texas. Slightly north of the Dallas District, in a little town called Frisco. There thats all u get to know about me. lol
Back to my story. Every Year, on Christmas Day, my family and some friends who we've know for 13 years all head down to the Dallas Homeless Shelters. Each year it rotates between the Women and children's shelter, and the Men's Shelter. We arrive early in the mornin, about 9 o'clock AM Dallas time, and help out with preparing the Lunches. (Breackfast is usually already servered by this time) By the time Lunch is finished, its around 11:30am. Its a LOT of cooking to do. Not to sound stereotypical, its usually the women actually doing the cooking, and us guys doing all the heavy lifting. Though the selection isnt usually all that big, on average we feed over 300 people. Its lots of fun. Now feeding the homeless isnt the ONLY thing we do. before we even go to the shelter.... weeks and weeks before..... we spend loads of money on esentials for the homeless like jackets and what-not. This year, we bought a ton of jackets, next year it may be somethin totally different... or it may just be jackets again. (i hope i dont get in trouble for posting a pic in this post, but yall need images to paint a picture. lol)
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Anyways, so thats my story of good-doing. i hope that yall can Keep the holiday cheer goin with more exciting stories of your own.
Happy Holidays Gaians and Gaia Staff!!!
The Archangel Kuro



x Demon Neko x
I don't have any pictures yet....could have gotten some good ones if this announcement came out last week.

But anyways I've been helping some friends and my mother in law with Toys for Tots this month. We've asked one of the radio stations to announce what we were doing as well as our local grocery store to help collect toys.

The other day we ended up loading up a school bus right outside of Toys R Us full of toys to be taking to our "headquarters" to be sorted out and stocked up. Now today I ended up spending about eight hours sorting through and bagging toys and games for a list of people and what their kids wanted. We also had a mother and her kids who recently lost everything to a house fire and because of that she couldn't afford the toys her kids wanted. So being wonderful as we are we let her come over and pick out the toys she needed and some stocking stuffers too.

On a side note besides Toys for Tots my brother in law has got us all helping out our troops over seas by sending them care packages. So far we have sent over 7,000 packages and counting. The official website with all the information regarding this is: Capecod Cares for Our Troops
biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

JadeToniRitsa
I work at a community center at their food pantry.=D I'd put up pics, but there's a privacy matter to our customers who come in, so nothin. It's basically where people can come in and pick up food and even stuff like desserts, baby food, diapers, and hygiene stuff, depending on if they are either "everything" or "bread and fresh".
I work there four hours every Thursday from 4 to 8, basically closing time. During that time, there are two periods of where we open, and I'm the one who closes things down, put stuff in the refrigators, back things in, and lock up. Mostly, I work in the back, making premade bags with canned fruit, veggies, cereal, pasta, rice, etc. Other things, the customers choose themselves.
We get donations from Safeway, Whole Foods, Marina, the 2nd Harvest Food Bank, Target, and local bakeries. I like it because it isn't like one of those big factories with long lines of people storing food. It's a quiet little organization people aren't afraid to come to. And everybody's friendly and open. =)
So I cut up the pastries, sort canned food and things for the refrigrators, and sort the Target stuff. Which is normally horrible. The Target workers will just stuff the things in plastic bags, and we have to deal with all the spilled chemicals. One volunteer got an eye infection cause of it.
But the great thing is that now during the holidays, there are more and larger amont of donations. Unforunately, it makes things more rushed, disorganzied, and overall messy in general. Believe it, most people don't volunteer around the holidays. Well, less. Off with their families and on vacation and such. So the closer we draw to the holidays, the less people seem to be in working in the food pantry. Only one other besides me now, and he helps the customers as I now stock the shelves as well.... crying
But I like volunteering, it's very stress relieving, and helps me (personally) unwind from acadmic pressure.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! XDDD



Dark_Squishie
Since I was 13 I would give my November checks to my community charity, but do to the economy this year I raided our cupboards and found almost 20 pounds can food items my family doesn't use. I took them to our shelter this past week end. I felt so bad not being able to give some money I've been volunteering even more this year at the homeless shelters ( homeless people in Boise is up by 20 % ) I'm organizing a bake sale on the 20-23 of December to raise more money to make shelters bigger and warmer for this time of year. Also so that people have places to go durring the day when it's 12 degrease outside. I doubt I'll win a thing but I don't care. I though sharing my story would be fun and hope it'd inspire others too do a little more too. ^-^ Happy Holidays.



Daxen-star
My mom has this volunteer group that she organizes at her workplace. It starts every christmas and they put together these bags called santa sacks that include necessities from toothbrushes to mittens and hats as well as toys. The bags are for children ages 1 month to 14 years old that are in disadvantaged families. The bags are handed out at a free dinner for all of the families that sign up. Extra bags go to the homeless shelters in my city. (I volunteer with the group)




Azzy-licious
Eight years ago, my little sister was diagnosed with cancer. We spent the first Christmas in the hospital with her and it was terribly dull. The second year, we were very fortunate and were able to spend Christmas together at home. This was our last Christmas together. For the past six years, I have been playing violin at the same hospital my sister was treated in, on the cancer floor. I try to bring at least one group. Some years I have brought up to three or four groups. We play for at least an hour, any Christmas song imaginable. Every year is a greater surprise--getting to see the smiles on the faces of patients as they pass by, getting to hear the stories of family members and visitors, and above all else, knowing that I am making a difference with my music.

One of my favorite experiences was meeting this joyful child--about the same age of myself-- whose grandmother was very sickly with cancer. We had been playing Canon in D, which just happened to be her grandmother and her favorite song. After she had returned to her hospital room, the group I had been playing with set up our camera and we recorded ourselfs playing her favorite song. The next day, we returned to give her a DVD with us playing her song, and a professional version of the song for them to listen to. She was so overjoyed it brought tears to my eyes.

Apart from this service during the holidays, I have also had the opportunity to work sorting, labeling, and packaging goods to sent to a high school in Zimbabwe. A few of my classmates and I met up with this remarkable woman who had a HUGE storage space packed full of various items which can range from anything like clothing articles to books to sewing machines and hygenic products. We worked from morning until late evening until everything was packaged and lebeled to be sent. This year was my first working on this project, but it is a yearly event which I will certainly be participating in this upcoming spring once again.

In addition to this, I also play violin around the community at other events, tutor students in any subject I am capable of, cared for aquariums at a local college, and I have also worked as a greeter and seater for a local event so that I could be a representative and spokesperson of a new school program, which gives high school students the opportunity to partake in their studies in a college setting, as well as providing them with the opportunity to explore a college curriculum.

Next summer, I hoping to dedicate a week of my summer to working at a summer camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer and are healthy enough to attend. It is such a magnifacent place and really helps the children feel as if they can be 'normal' (as my little sister put it). I was a camper there 8 years ago, and hope to give the children attending the same experience that I was able to have when I attended.

I apologize that there are no pictures disclosed. The pictures have other people included who may not want to be seen online.
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C r e a m y P a s t r y
About a block away from my house is a nursing home for the elderly. This nursing home is specifically for elderly people that have some sort of mental disability.

For about six months, I have been volunteering there. It's hard to imagine the type of work or the things I've seen from volunteering, but it is definitely one of the most rewarding feelings to see someone smile over the work you do.

I have helped paint the walls of the home, fix meals, serve meals, cleaned dishes, changed some of the elderly people and fed them myself.

With the help of my parents, we plan to donate items such as diapers and clothes so that the elderly can continued to be cared for.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.



Extreme_Player
I donated stuff to my nearby Boys and Girls Club. I also donated A LOT of clothing to the needy of my school and donated over 100 canned food which cost a lot hehe. My school has a think called an Angel Tree which on Christmas poor nearby family's in the town get presents/clothing. This is where people like me and my family donate the clothing which are also the presents. The canned foods are a donation to the 43 family's that asked my school for help. These family's need help to survive and that is why the more people can donate, the more these family's get means the longer they can survive until they find a decent job, etc. The Boys and Girls Club is an organization that helps out family's all of the the city where it is located. They give donations to place and they also hold a place where kids can spend their time and have fun with sports/games. Every year I donate Ping pong equipment so the club can always have an updated playing table.



xXSilverAnimeXx
over the past weekend I volunteered at an event that helped bring christmas to underprivleged children. Families who maybe were in a bad situation, or didn't have money, or whatever the reason brought there children to the event. There were tons of stations set up like crafts, petting zoos, cookie decorating, and what not. We were each assigned to a family as there "special elf" we took spent the day with our assigned child and did our best to give them a special day they wouldn't forget. And each child was given a donated gift. the event was sponsored by a local radio station and more than 2000 children recieved presents. I did the event last year and I hope to do it again next year because it made a lot of kids happy and was alot of fun 4laugh
sorry we were not allowed to take pictures



vulnavia draco
My good deed is not nearly as touching, nor is it aimed to humans. But if you go to http://baststreasures.freeservers.com/
you can see what I have been doing for the last 22 years. Please don't forget the voiceless this holiday season! Donate and/or volunteer at your local shelter, become a foster home for needy pets, and most importantly: Spay and neuter your pets.

And homeless near a thousand homes I stood,
And near a thousand tables pined, and wanted food.
~William Wordsworth

*gets down from soapbox*
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Majestic_Butterfly
1. I volunteer at soup kitchens in my local city, just recently we had a very big group. i made a lot of food and it made me feel very good to know that helped someone. there was a lot of terrible looking people with barley any food or shelter... even without warm cloths. it breaks my heart to know that people like this are out there.. so we got together and found many jackets and pants and shoes to give them =]. it's very rewarding to know that there are organizations that can help these misfortune times for these people.

2.I just recently started volunteering at my local animal shelter. i walk the dogs and make booths and fundraisers to get them the food and shelter they need. I just love to know that these animals get some love from me and the other volunteer's every day =].


3. Because of the recession many families have had to give up their pets. I have joined a group that raises money for these families so they can keep their most wonderful pets. most recently we have earned a lot of money.

I feel horrible to say that i have no pictures =[


-o-VampireChic-o-
A thing I and some friends did this year was start a all green club at our school called Save.Our.Planet ( often called my both members and followers S.O.P ) We do everything in our power to help our school. This year we decided to adopt a family. We raised about 300 dollars by having a bake sale and 'pailers' ( Kids who went around during lunch with pails asking for small donations ) and we spent the money buying gifts, and food for the two larger families that we adopted. We deliever the gifts and food and the single mothers were so thankful! We also switch our entire school to using recycling for both paper and plastic. This year we also had the privilige to help our at the homeless shelter for thanksgiving. Later in spring we hope to have a Adoption Dog Walk, for our human socitey shelter. I'm stating this not to be selfish or self 'less' but rather to let other Gaians know that we can help out. It isn't that hard. Hopefully when I come to the true proper age I will be able to make this club an actually charity.


It's Our Life.
Our Rules.
Our Responability.
Save.Our.Planet



JessieBaby`
My name is Jess Grossman and I am very involved in volunteering- mostly around the topic of awareness.

For one of my awareness campaigns currently the model and spokesperson of a new campaign geared toward spreading awareness about ostomies called Uncover Ostomy

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

For those [many of you] who do not know, an ostomy is a surgically created opening from an internal organ such as the intestines or ureters to an external point on the body, usually in the abdomen, so that diseased or damaged portions of the patients’ organ can be removed or treated for disease. The piece that is created to pass through from inside the body to outside is called a stoma. Bodily excretions such as stool, mucus and urine pass through the stoma into a special bag on the outside of the body that the wearer empties on a regular basis.

Ostomies are used in the treatment of diseases of the intestines and/or bladder and are most commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohns/Colitis as well as certain cancers. The ostomy can be a temporary or permanent procedure depending on a number of factors including type of condition and the person’s needs.

The three most common types of ostomy are:
Colostomy – a portion of the large intestine is removed or re-routed temporarily or permanently
Ileostomy – a portion of the small intestine is removed or re-routed temporarily or permanently
Urostomy – urine is diverted from the kidneys, often to bypass a diseased or removed bladder

I myself have an ileostomy that I recieved to save my life from Crohn's Disease.

I came up with the idea for Uncover Ostomy about 3 years ago for a project for a grade 12 media class assignment. We were asked to come up with a PR campaign for a non profit organization, and at first, I had picked the United Ostomy Associated of Canada. I came up with ads for the project featuring myself showing off my ostomy. I showed these pictures a while back here, on Gaia to get people's opinions. These are the threads and various posts I had: "I'm Proud of What I Have" and "Would You Break Up With Me If".

After 3 years of discussing it with an organization called IDEAS we decided to make the campaign happen and created the website previously linked along with a Facebook Fanpage and a twitter account

I am working my hardest to spread awareness of the thing that saved my life and so many others. I am trying to make the term ostomy known to the world to help those who have them be comfortable with who they are, and those who learn about ostomies accept the people who have them.

Another thing I have spread awareness for is Bone Marrow Transplants.

Last February my father was diagnosed with a rare disease called "Miyelofibrosis" and the only way he could survive was with a bone marrow transplant. No one in my family was a match for his bone marrow type so I started an awareness campaign to encourage people to get their bone marrow type tested in hopes that I would find my dad a match.

To do this, I started with a Facebook group to encourage people to get their swab kits online to get tested from Onematch, a Canadian organization who tests people for free.

I also spread awareness on Gaia making this thread

My facebook group grew to around 7 thousand people and attracted the attention of the media in Both London Ontario [where I go to school] and Toronto Ontario [where I'm from]. My family was featured in many newspaper articles as well as on TV: A Channel London and Toronto Global News.

While I was doing this, my mother was planning a large bone marrow drive to further encourage people to get tested. I incorporated my Facebook group in order to spread awareness and attention of this drive. This was the news report on the bone marrow drive Bone Marrow Drive on Global News Toronto. At this drive, we ended up getting over 1450 new swabs for the bone marrow registry!

My dad ended up finding a match.

Unfortunately, he passed away on August 30th 2009 due to chemotherapy complications.

My family and I, together, set the highest record for the number of people to attend a bone marrow drive in North America [maybe even all of the world-we aren't sure yet].

One more thing I spread awareness for is Crohn's Disease. I was the former spokesperson for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada where I spoke on the news, spoke at galas in front of thousands of people, and helped volunteer at events to raise money for a cure that does not exist. I do not do this as much as I used to, however, as I am focused on the ostomy campaign.

I know this post was long, but I hope that doesn't deter you from really taking a look at what I've done. I also hope you choose to feature me, because in doing so, you will also feature the various causes I strive to promote.

Thank you :]



snakesta
Over here in New York I'm a Boyscout for Troop 104, West Babylon. We always tend to get a ton of community service in for all sorts of things. Well not too long ago I've done a few things in particular:

1. Some time last November myself and around ten other Boy scouts were waiting outside "Stop and Shop" the super one anyway. We'd have one group stationed at one entrance and another at the other entrance. Then when people would come by to enter the store we'd hand out a small flier asking for them to donate canned foods and similar sorts and it would go toward the Needy and Homeless. So as each person went by we'd usually give them a flier and say briefly, "Troop 104, donating food to the needy". Some people would walk past, some people would take them and wave, some people took them, went in and threw them out, but at the end of the day we got a lot of stuff. We spent nine hours there doing that. Then when we finished there were a couple people we'd give it to anonymously, churches we gave to that were doing programs like such, several different places we brought the food to.

2. Myself and a fewer amount of Boy scouts this time, probably six others. This was a Pack night party for Christmas going on within the Troop. Pack as in Cub scouts. Myself I dressed up as an Elf, a hat, shirt, and boots. The others ended up wearing elf hats that had huge pointy ears attached. Then we went outside and came out behind the school; where the party was on a Christmas float. One of the leaders played Santa and my Mom was Mrs. Claus. After waving to all the Cub scouts we got off and went inside where we handed out presents and said Merry Christmas a thousand times. I helped hand out presents to each Cub scout next to Santa.

3. Something my Mom did on the side but through a friend who has her son in Troop 104. My Mom gathered a bunch of food and had two boxes full of food, decent sized. Then her and me, two days ago, Tuesday night, 15th, we brought the two boxes to our friend's house. They then were going to drop it off at the person's house that we were giving it to along with a card. That would say, "Merry Christmas, from a friend of Troop 104." The people we gave it to was a daughter and her Mom who aren't having the best of times with the way the economy is. And it's hard on them, because the Mother is a bit over 100 and her daughter is in her 70's. Considering it's difficult for them, my Mom did this for them, maybe they'll have an easier and better Christmas this year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Something small, one of my friends on Gaia was asking for 4,000 Gold in his status and once I saw it which was 13 minutes after he posted it, I sent a trade request. And 4,000 Gold was sent out of generosity.


That's my story, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.
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Dapper Dabbler

Myzou
Sadly, I don't own a camera, so unable to take a pic XD

I volunteer at the local county food bank every week, and in the holiday times, it can be especially rewarding. I am one of the 3 receptionists they have, who assist in making the appointments for people who need food for the holiday season. Last year, we got 196 families food, including a full turkey, for the christmas season, and that was just in a last minute emergency distribution that took place on Christmas Eve. So far this year, we've served about 200-300 families this month, and this week is just starting, and is the busiest week we will have. We didn't have turkeys for everyone this year, but we had a last minute HUGE turkey donation come in last week, and now anyone, except families of 1 are able to get a turkey. Families of 1 are able to get a Chicken, which is smaller than the turkeys, but plenty for a family of 1.

Although I often feel extremely depressed when we fill up with appointments, we do try our best to get people food who need it, especially in the holidays. The other 2 receptionists and I go out of our way to make sure people are taken care of these last 2 months, either from us, or making sure they know somewhere they can get help, like the local Salvation Army, that also supplies food boxes in the holidays, or even a place where they can go to have a Christmas Dinner, like the local mission, if they are unable to cook themselves.

Last year during November + December, I believe we served over 2000 families, all fueled by about 20-30 volunteers, and numerous staff members, temporary employees, and even community service workers wanting to make a change. And this year, we're up to about 1000 families in Nov/Dec, but December isn't over yet. And just like last year, if they decide to have a last minute Christmas Eve distribution, I will go, simply because if spending 3-6 hours on christmas eve can help up to 200 families get food to be together for christmas, I will do it.



beenie101
Hey everyone! what are you doing for Christmas for those who are less fortunate? Me and about 30 others from cadets are driving around town collecting food for the food bank! last time we did this we gathered enough food for almost 1500 people!

which is good considering i am from a town of 7000 people! Doing things like this really makes you feel good about yourself! or just doing anything to help those less fortunate people out. big or small it still helps and means so much the less fortunate!



ForeverCreated
I've been doing some work for the organisation Wildlife Victoria.
I've transported some injured/orphaned wildlife to shelters
I've been organising a fundraising proram with some of the people there and have delivered collection tins to businesses in the area.
I've been getting together a booklet of nestbox designs that people in the community can make for possums, parrots, kookaburras etc.
And I've been helping to get triage and burns kits ready for the approaching fire season. (As you know we had a very severe fire period in Victoria earlier this year).

It's a wonderful organisation that does a lot for the injured and orphaned wildlife in Victoria, Australia.



Angel-A-747
There are so many poor people in the Philippines, and every once in a while, they come knocking on the door of your heart (or your car) asking for money or any other donations. Our family feels compassion, so every Christmas, we prepare special gifts for them. We pack cooked food in plastic containers, buy canned goods for them and for the little kids, my sister and I give away our favorite stuffed toys. So every December, when a person comes knocking on the car door, we open the window and give them our little "gifts". It makes us really happy if they leave with a smile, because it means we made one more person in the world happy, and we shared our love with them on Christmas.
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Dapper Dabbler

SailorDarkness
Every year come December there are certain things that I have to do to even feel like it is the Christmas season. I do a lot of donating and encourage a lot of fundraising at my full time job. (We normally adopt a family, donate to Coats for Kids, and Toys for Tots. These are just a few I have donated to, there are many more out there, and if you have the time or money I encourage everyone else to help out in their own way.)

But the ones closest to my heart are the details I work at my volunteer job during this season.

There are three specific details that I work every year:

1. Shop with a Cop is an amazing event that includes Police Departments from all over Northeast Ohio. Each department donates and raises money to adopt kids from their city that would not otherwise have money for Christmas. The cops then take the kids shopping at Walmart (which donates gift cards to the kids also) and allow them to pick out presents for their family and one for themselves. (I normally only do traffic and help our full time officers with their "adopted kids", but I just love watching all of the kids pick out their presents.) This year we adopted 291 kids and 220 officers volunteered their time. Check out the video!

Shop With a Cop Video


2. The Stow Children's Cemetery Candlelight Vigil. No fun stuff given away at this event, it is just a somber heart warming event. Where individuals can come remember loved ones in this holiday season. No pretty video or pictures for this one... it is a very somber occasion.

3. New this year, we are now doing a Christmas Luminaries. It will be held on Christmas Eve at the Stow City Center (that's Stow Ohio) and Luminaries will be lit in remembrance of 122 police officers and 83 fire personnel who fell in the line of duty this year.

Article on the Luminary Event

I normally don't share these or let anyone know I even do all of this... it feels a little like cheating just telling all of you... but if I can help encourage anyone else to do their part, or to come join us for the Luminary event... then it is worth it!

Merry Christmas!
And Happy Holidays!





Nicolii
Back on December 5th, I went to a warehouse in El Granada to wrap presents for families who can't afford them. The people running it would give us a sheet of paper telling us how old the kids were in addition to the family members' clothing sizes and items that they were in need of. So we would pick out presents for the kids, and wrap the items that had already been bought by a volunteer. We only got through presents for two familes that day, but next year I wish to stay longer and help out more. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures, as I volunteered before I heard about this Gaia opportunity. xD

I also want to help out at the Saint Anthony's dining room again. We did that for school a couple months ago, and a couple of us went around the Tenderloin neighborhoods delivering food for Meals that Heal. It was really a different experience... It made me realize how lucky I am to live in a decent house with nice food.


Anyways, to all you Gaians: Happy Holidays!!




Jerails
Well, it's not just my own contribution, I participate in a community band here and we usually perform concerts at the local malls and where-ever we're invited. So I'll just post the link to one of our recent Christmas performances at the Ala Moana Shopping Center, and let you all enjoy some music.

Just in case my avatar doesn't look nearly enough like me, I'm the guy in the top left freaking out on the bell-set.

]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YM9o6-UZbk



SweetHeart22595
For the past 6 months, I have been sewing scarfs, sweaters, mittens, hats, etc. for the homeless people in downtown Denver. It gets pretty cold here in Colorado and they need something to keep them warm. I have been doing this for 5 years now and enjoy doing good for the world. It may take a lot of time to make these and it costs tons of money every year, but in the end it is well worth it. Each year I spent about $5,000 on yarn and supplies to make these. I work day and night on them. I spend 53 hours a week, for 6 months a year working to make these. Many appreciate it and are very thankful, others not so much. As good as it feels to be thanked for your hard work, it's not all that matters. What matters is you are warming a person that is suffering out in our freezing weather. I would love to put more time into making things for the homeless, but I have 2 kids I have to take care of. One is 5 months, the other is a year old and I am a single mother, so it isn't easy.I also have a job, so it is pretty hard getting these done, but I find time to do it. On February 24th, I take them their scarfs, sweaters, mittens, hats, blankets and things I make them, but I also include $2 each and some food with it. I know $2 isn't much to many people, but when you are homeless it means the world to you.

This isn't all I do...I also go cook at a home for people with sexually transmitted diseases that have nobody. They spend their Christmas alone because nobody wants to be around them. They think they are nasty, not worth anything, and are scared to be near them. It's not fair to them, they deserve love and attention just as we get. It's not always their faults they have the diseases, some are born with it. They are still human, they are just like us.

I wish there were more people out there willing to open their hearts and help people in need during the holidays. You can make a difference, just by doing something good. When people see you do good, they follow and do good also.

God bless you and happy holidays. May these amazing holidays bring you all bright smiles and warm your hearts. Stay safe and stay happy.

I should have pictures soon!
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Dapper Dabbler

Why did the peanut go to the police station?
biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Because they were a-salted!

(thank you thank you, I'll be here all week).
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Reserving another.
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Dapper Dabbler

One last reservation.

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