Monday, July 13, 2009

MITS Reality TV

At the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Thrift Store, I volunteer as the Assistant Book Lady. It's a lot of fun; it's sort of like running a book store without the burden of having to worry about going hungry. Over the years, I've made a lot of friends there, and of course, it's for a good cause.

Two good causes, actually. Its main purpose is to raise fund for youth & family services on the island; although the city as a whole is prosperous, there is no shortage of families in need.

The other cause is making Mercer Island a little more self-sufficient, or "sustainable" if you prefer. Goods sold here are reused instead of being sent to the dump, thus efficiently extracting maximum value. What's not to like?

Every year or two we get a new crop of work-study workers. I'm not a central character on the crew, but from the sidelines I enjoy their stories, plans and hopes. I've also learned from them about gardening, music and new ways to recycle. I hope can sometimes chime in with something useful, mostly based on the stupid things I did when I was a student (I wasn't brilliant but I did learn some things that didn't work so perhaps the next guy through will do better!)

Last Friday one of the quieter ones, named Chloie, had a new story to share. You sort of had to pull it out of her with pliers (...whether humility or shyness who knows? Not everyone is a ham like me ...) but it turned out she'd had two notable experiences at MITS in one day. When her proud mother emailed various news outlets, a couple of camera crews showed up at the same time. (...I was disappointed that they didn't hold dueling interviews, as per Deliverance ... )

Here's the story:

It was fun to watch the filming while staying out of the way. We speculated what could be done with the footage; surely it would make fine Realty TV!

  • Dramatic ("Inside this bin, something was waiting")
  • Suggestive ("In this so-called 'dressing room', people take off their clothes!")
  • Inspiring ("You think you feel used? Imagine how these shoes feel ... but we give them hope. Hope of a new life!")
Since I donated my TV a decade ago, I figured I wouldn't ever see the video. But then my friend Mel emailed that she'd seen it while visiting New Orleans, and then my sister up in Everett called about it; I felt I had no choice to but use the Google machine and find it! I'm glad I did because it's a good story and I enjoyed seening my buds get a little well-earned video time.

I hope Chloe enjoys the ride. Maybe she was just doing her job, but she did it and that's what counts. It really is an inspiring story, although perhaps the best part is her belief that we all would've done the right thing.

Make it so!

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