|Hello dear friends,
Happy Father’s day to all of our fathers and father figures and uncles and sons.
Another week has gone by on the countdown to August 7th. We sent out a quatri-lingual mailer to our Hamtramck voters (which apparently made a good impression on some of our Bengali friends), we are getting ready for the ubiquitous yard signs, and the door-knocking continues!
So…have we talked about the hearts yet? I know I’ve mentioned them, and they show up in pictures, but I want to share what these hearts are all about.
My co-worker, Sharon, is a very crafty woman, and she came into the office on Valentine’s Day of 2017 with a pile of felted hearts cut out of old sweaters. I was extremely skeptical of what on earth I could possibly do with them and they sat in a container on my desk for awhile.
But I love kids! And when clients bring their kids to the office, I always try to find ways to make it fun for the little ones. They help me on the copy machine and pass papers back to their parents with pride. One day, it occurred to me to give away some of my felt hearts, and I offered the pile of hearts to a child and she dove her hands into the squishy colorful love bits and squealed happily. Now we had a plan!
So, I began giving these out at work and, over time, I decided the kids were on to something. I started giving these hearts to myself and my coworkers too, and we work them on our shirts with paperclips or safety pins like a badge of membership into a certain club that has no name or affiliation other than a recognition of what we are all here for.
For my campaign, I take these hearts with me and give them out when the moment seems right. I wear one almost every day too. Sometimes, people ask me what they mean. I usually tell them it’s a symbol of love, it helps me remember why I’m doing what I do and it helps others know that what I do comes from a place of caring. I am literally heart felt.
There is something profoundly beautiful about a group of kids agreeing that they all want a heart, and then picking out the one that seems just right for them. Everybody loves them!
My favorite moment door knocking this week happened when I was in the midst of talking to a woman on her porch about my housing work. She was listening to me, but she wasn’t particularly engaged and suddenly we heard a loud excited noise and a woman stepped up to the gate. I recognized her immediately and we reached to hug each other. “That’s the young lady who saved my house!” she called out. The woman I was speaking to turned her mother-in-law and she snapped a picture for both of us. I almost cried for the beauty of it all.
I have been humbled by the many elders I have interacted with this week.
At one home, I met a man who told me he wasn’t going to be voting because he was sick of it and didn’t think things were going to get any better. He was 93 years old and very strong, but in his heart he was tired of mustering up hope for a process that was only getting worse.
A few hours later, I knocked on a door and was invited inside to meet the elderly woman who lived there. She was sipping soup in front of the TV but wanted to meet me. We chatted for awhile and then I learned that she was 108 years old. I thought there must be a mistake. I have never met anyone close to that age, let alone spent quality time chatting with them! She put in her teeth and we snapped a picture.
Through it all, my most favorite elder voter, Harriet, is helping to plan an amazing party for this coming week. “Summer Solstice Soiree” on the rooftop of the Park Shelton. I won’t give away her age but suffice it to say that she is putting in a lot of time and energy and I am in a state of amazement and gratitude. Come out to the party and support the campaign with good music, good food and good company!
I have not been spending much time trying to raise funds, but I need to earn more to pay for my yard signs and to get postage to send these large mailers. Please help me spend more time knocking doors and less time raising money by contributing to the campaign if you can. Go to www.michele4rep.com.
Volunteer shifts are happening every day, which an emphasis on Saturdays at noon. Come hang out with us!
More times available through evenings and weekends. Thank you for all the support!
Read my recent story “Wire Nuts” written in honor of Father’s Day on my blog: www.oberdoit.com.
As always, feel free to contact me directly at 313-770-0818 (the campaign number, right?) or firstname.lastname@example.org.