17 February 2007

I've decided to provide a public service announcement for an event even though I'm not entirely convinced it's something I want to participate in. This event is a fundraiser for the United Way's campaign to increase funding for their 211 services. If you don't know what 211 is, you should. It's a service much like 911, but you dial it to get information and access to community (social) services in your area. It's a subject that is near and dear to my heart, and I think it's an extremely valuable tool for everyone....especially those who have never accessed community services before. In the bay area, it's presently only available in San Francisco, and they're raising money to expand to the rest of the bay area. 211 currently exists in parts of 41 states, serving 196 million people - over 65% of the US population.

Okay, so the issue is the event - it's called Hands Across the Bridge and the idea is that 3,000 people get the opportunity to pay a fee to hold hands across the bridge on April 22. The bridge will not be closed for traffic, so the event will take place on the west sidewalk. There will also be a Community Festival at Crissy Field immediately afterward, and I do have to say that we always enjoy spending time there ever since it was completely redone. Here's my issue - do I really want to pay to stand with 3,000 people on the bridge? What if I just give them the equivalent fee and go stand on the bridge with the family some other time when there's not so many people? But will that take away from teaching Ry and Si about sense of community....doing something for the greater good in a communal atmosphere, something bigger than themselves? And gee, might it actually be fun? Scott went to the 50th Anniversary of the bridge and said it was a nightmare......4 hours to get from one side to the other.....they had actually closed the thing down so anyone who could get on the bridge did - all 250,000 of them. This will definitely be more manageable than that was, but still....3,000 people? I'm completely torn. If anyone has any thoughts, now would be the time to share. It's never too late to start posting comments, you know......

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