Friday, September 4, 2020

On Monday, September 7th: End the Summer, Start #MyNonprofits


Photo of lightning I took in south San Jose early on August 16. Little did I know the very rare lightning storm started some intense and destructive wildfires. 

Not that anyone needs a reminder, but the pandemic continues. 

This summer I did not fly to Italy as planned, and right now if I want to visit the state of my birth I'd have to endure two weeks of quarantine on arrival since California is on the NY/NJ/CT list.  

I have a Brompton folding bike that is very useful for taking a train in to work and putting beside my desk at my job or under a table at a coffee shop.

So much nostalgia in that one sentence (I dust my Brompton every week).

And now, wildfires fueled by a rare lightning storm.

The second largest wildfire in California state history is about ten or fifteen miles from my house and during the worst parts the evacuation line was less than three miles away. A neighbor of mine has a four wheel drive truck with huge tires that he rarely uses and always keeps garaged. But like a lot of cars in my neighborhood, it's been in the driveway, facing out, for two weeks. I consider the truck a Leading Emergency Indicator - much like the Waffle House index -  and when it goes back to his garage I can unpack my go-bag.

And still, I am still one of the lucky ones. A lot of people have been out of work for months and I don't have a landlord to contend with.

This Summer, I spent a few days at Mammoth Lakes and another few days at Mendocino. In the interim I messed around with bikes in my shop, bought a portable bandsaw (about time you made that, Ryobi), and learned how to use a sewing machine. And I got to ride.

So I'm lucky - but Facebook memories has been smirking at me a lot lately with reminders of trips back east to see family, friends, and chocolate-raspberry croissants.

Mystic, Connecticut with the Bike Friday in August 2019

I do Zoom and Facetime with them (my family and friends - not the croissants).

Even though this is a rough summer, I'm bracing for a rough autumn and more hard times to come - especially for our most vulnerable neighbors who aren't as lucky as us. So I'm kicking off another round of #MyNonprofits and I hope you join me. 

#MyNonprofits is when you donate to a nonprofit that has touched your life in some way, share the donation link, and use the #MyNonprofits link to encourage friends to do the same. I suggest repeating the action every day for seven days since there are a lot of organizations doing a lot of necessary work and they need our help. 

I'm asking you all to take the weekend and think of some nonprofits you love, and make a donation on Monday as our kind of way to make peace with this difficult summer (or as difficult as a summer can get when we're not hungry, not facing eviction, and currently employed). You can donate any amount but I suggest you figure out how much a cancelled trip cost you and donate that amount to your favorite nonprofits. In April it was Italy - today it is New York. 

I started today by making a donation to San Jose Spotlight. I hope I don't need to remind any of you how important journalism is in this time, but the service reporters do is worth paying for, so I offer them up as a place for you to donate if you choose to.

I'll present more in the coming days but for now: please ask yourself: What are My Nonprofits? What are the organizations I definitely want to see make it through the pandemic? Answer those questions on Monday, and share the results on Twitter and other social. And wear a mask this weekend. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

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