Monday, November 10, 2008

In space, no one can hear you scream (for ice cream)…

I recently began tutoring at 826 Seattle, a non-profit creative writing and tutoring center. It is a chapter of 826 National, a non-profit started by my favorite author and publisher Dave Eggers.

When the first tutoring center of this type opened at 826 Valencia in San Francisco, the property owners required its residents to have a storefront operating in tandem with the tutoring center. Eggers facetiously chose to have a pirate supply store, not anticipating how much money this store would generate, assisting with the operating costs of the tutoring center. Thus, having a clever store is now part of the structure of all 826 chapters around the country. 826 NYC has the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. The exterior of 826 Chicago touts the building to be “The Boring Store” with signs clearly stating “Not a secret agent supply store.” 826 Seattle is home to Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company.

There are many things a person needs in space, not least of which is freeze-dried ice cream. (Freeze-drying both preserves and reduces the weight of food, removing the water content.) Growing up, this product was a whine-worthy product when visiting the Virginia Air and Space Museum. Over at Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company, we carry four different varieties: mint chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip, classic Neapolitan and, my personal favorite, an ice cream sandwich variety, which comes in a retro flying saucer shape.

826 Seattle has many programs, in-school, after-school and during the summer months. Programs are “structured around the belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to a child’s future success.” Please make a donation to this inspiring organization that makes a difference in the lives of young people daily. Their current fundraising effort in the Third Annual Mustache-A-Thon; choose a mustache that makes you feel generous and donate toward the cause. Why? Because (a) you know you have $20 and (b) facial hair is lazy and has been getting a free ride for too long! It needs to do something…for the educational advancement in young people. The elections may be over, but you can still make a difference!

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