Category: volunteer/charity

It’s hard sometimes to explain why Burning Man and regionals are a community, and not just festivals or scenes.  I think this pledge challenge by Burners Without Borders goes a long way in explaining it.

I will assert myself and apply my myriad talents toward the achievement of radical self-reliance, uncompromising self-expression, immediate participation, and unlimited inclusion. Whether I do this through building community, advancing the arts, aiding disaster relief, gifting alternative energy, greening the planet, or some other means, I will be a badass from now on.

Will you bring it?

For Hollis

I don’t know this woman, but she is one of the many volunteers that helps build Black Rock City (the temporary city of Burning Man) and the community is rallying to help bring her home.

She was in a motorcycle accident in India and is in a coma.  Funds are being raised to fly her back to the states, if there is any way you can help, please do.   If you are in/near NYC there is a fundraiser tomorrow night for her.  For latest info and details, go here.  (Despite the initial request below, help in getting quotes on air medical transport is not needed at this point, and she’s been moved to a hospital that is providing better care. She is breathing on her own!)

Together, we CAN make this happen

To help: go here

Hollis and her boyfriend in India at the start of their trip

Hollis and her boyfriend in India at the start of their trip

This is the letter from Hollis’ boyfriend who was there at the time of the accident:

Hello friends and family,

So as many of you know, and many of you don’t as I have not even talked to you in a while.I am in the midst of a crazy tragedy here in southern India. I was travelling with my sweetheart Hollis by motorcycle and the worst possible scenario has unfolded. She was in an accident that took a freak turn and I will spare you the gory details (and they are gory) but end result, she is in a coma with the most serious injury one can sustain. She has a serious brain stem injury. This is the part of the brain that controls and is connected to everything. The accident happened at 11:30 am on Tuesday Feb. 24th, it is now 5:30 am on Monday March 2nd as I am writing this (I don’t sleep).

This is what’s going on… The treatment she is receiving is okay, for India. There are however huge rats scurrying about on the floor. I am sleeping on the ant covered floor outside her room as I am not allowed in and the water they have used for many procedures is not even purified.

Today as the final straw they would not allow her own mother who has just flown here from Tennessee with emergency support from the US consulate to see her own daughter when she inquired. She has been allowed some of the time but they sort of shame you/are mean to you to make you not ask for visitation. They are not observing her brain pressure and have done nothing to alleviate the swelling in her brain. These are things that can make or break her early on in her recovery and healing process. Her chances are slim. Her chances are slimmer here in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India.

So we miraculously got her accepted to Stanford which is one of the best hospitals in the world. Also, as a charity case which is very rare, since she has no insurance. So what we need now is to get her there. I am reaching out to everyone I know to help us get an ICU Plane (a.k.a. air ambulance) to fly her back to California. Anyone who knows anyone with a plane we could rent or has anybody in the Air Ambulance industry or a doctor who could volunteer their time to come and get her and fly her to Stanford and reduce the cost… those things would be amazing.

The reality of the situation is that we need to raise $150,000 dollars, now for the quote we have.
[so far we’ve reached $20,000] There is a blog that Hollis’s best bud Eliza (from her bicycle dance troupe the SF Derailleurs) started: www. friendsofhollis. blogspot. com and it has a donate button on it. I would like to urge everyone to give something to this button even if it is 5 dollars and then pass it on to everyone they know. Hopefully we can all figure out a way to give $1,000 whether it be by sheer generosity or organizing a fundraiser where ever this reaches you.

Send it to people who know her and send it to anyone who is a compassionate person and knows what its like to lose a bright brilliant star of a person. She is an amazing performer, heart, bicycle and food activist and so much more, in San Francisco (and everywhere) and we need to do everything we can while we have the possibility, to bring her back. It was crazy to go through my contacts to select everyone to send this to and see the amount of amazing people who are no longer alive on it and how badly I don’t want to add her to this group. Please help however you can even if its just keeping her in your thoughts and sending healing energies and endless love. You can write me with any questions or support or call/text anytime, day or night.

Thank you more than anyone can be thanked, for everything you have all done so far, you have kept me going in my darkest hour. Please forward this on. Put it on myspace, facebook, your blog, craigslist, tribe, tell everyone.

love and teary thanks,

Life is precious, Never waste it.

The theme for today is lists.  Sent links for 43 Things and 101 things in 1001 Days to Limerick, and found the below posted on 101 things.  The original article mentions “before you die” lists.  I never think of them as that, more as “how to LIVE” lists.  My 43 things are mostly ongoing, so it’s hard to cross them off ;o)  But as the writer of Zen Habits says, the goal is NOT to check off things just to say they were done.  The goal is to not sit idle and watch life pass by!

Anyway – here’s the summary of the article:

6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get the Most Out of Life

A recent article over at Zen Habits made me think a lot about the motivation for creating a 101 Things list. The 6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get the Most Out of Life can be seen as a great starting point to coming up with ideas for self improvement on your list:

1. Who do I love, and what am I doing about it?
2. Am I pursuing my dream, or is fear stopping me?
3. Am I doing something that matters?
4. What am I doing to help others?
5. Am I as good a person as I want to be?
6. What am I doing to live life with passion, health and energy?


1.  Random. What am I not doing about it? 😀 

My family.  I’m horrible about calling them.  I’ve grown to dislike the phone.  I also need to visit them more often.

My friends.  They are my family too.  It’s hard when I feel drawn in many directions, and want to spend time with all of them but also need time to replenish myself.  hmm.

Me.  Yeah.  Sometimes, it’s OK to put me first.  The whole oxygen mask on the airplane analogy.


2.  I’m trying to figure out what my dream is still.  Workwise, no clue.  Aside from work, it’s just to have adventures with friends and those I love, to be challenged and challenge others, to grow, to never stop learning and more importantly, never stop playing.  It may look like goofing off, but I consider this pursuing my dream.

Fear may stop me in the career part – fear of failure, fear of hating something else, I don’t know.  It’s something I’m definitely struggling with, but to me the job is just to pay for shelter and for adventures and lots of cool toys 😛


3.  Again, splitting between work and social.  Work? I suppose so, roads need to be improved so I do provide a service.  If I weren’t here, someone else would do it.  I dunno…

Outside of work?  I want to do more.  Not sure how to go about that.  But I do feel that being part of a Burner community is doing something that matters – to other burners, to myself, and when I bring a bit of burner spirit to the rest of the world, I hope that matters too…  I suppose rather than a big thing I try to do lots of little things.


4.  Not enough.  Really.  How can anyone other than those who devote their lives to others really say anything else?  Again, if helping others in small ways matters, I do (try) that.  I need to devote more time and money to serious causes though.  Still haven’t donated to the food bank because of money shortage over the holidays, and I want to donate to Doctors without Borders again.


5.  Am I a good person?  I like to think that most days I am.  If I were as good a person as I want to be, I wouldn’t have anything to strive for, so that’s enough for me, for now.


6.  Oh a stickler, this one.

Passion.  Easy.  (Get your mind out of the gutter! :P)  I explore what I’m passionate about, I jump in and learn everything I can.  And then I discover something else.  OK, mind back in the gutter, or at least in terms of relationships – I do my best to love fully and accept love in return.  I read once that we only accept the love we think we deserve.  That makes a lot of sense, and I’m trying to remember that.  Because many days I don’t know what I did to deserve such an awesome guy ❤   (and awesome friends too!)

Health/Energy.  They go together.  Always striving to find joyful ways to move (not the E word!), to eat more wholesome foods than unwholesome ones, to improve our home environment so that it’s a place of rest and relaxation.  I definitely need to work harder on this, but I try.  Most of the time.  (Right now the vending machine is calling my name, miso soup was yummy but still hungry.) 



Yeah, so most of the things on my lists fall into these categories, but it’s a good checkpoint of sorts to answer them.  (Not tagging anyone, but feel free to contemplate on these even if you don’t blog/write publicly about them.)

A few positive thoughts for the New Year resolutions ponderings, and reminders of what’s important.


(I really want to read/process more about this story, but my heart can’t bear it today… Things like this, and prop 8 passing, make me want to take Big Action (whatever that is), but it’s so hard for me to stay in that mindset because I just get so angry and sad that I’m not capable of being very productive.  Sigh.  Add figuring out how I can help to #4.)


OK let’s end on a more positive note. This seems applicable, one of my favorites…

This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs:
to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, argue, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek. To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.

~Terry Tempest Williams, naturalist and author (1955- )




Kendra pointed out this blog on Jersey Bites – over 100 bloggers getting the word out that the Food Bank is experiencing a decrease in donations and an increase in demand because of the economy.  My company is doing a food drive, but I decided I’m going to donate money instead (I’m hoping it goes further if they buy in bulk!)  Here’s how you can help!

1. Make a monetary contribution: Visit
2. Donate food: Drop off a bag of food at your local food pantry.
3. Organize a food drive: We can help explain the logistics of starting a food drive. Just call 908-355-FOOD.
4. Help “Check Out Hunger:” Look for the “Check Out Hunger” coupons at your local supermarket and donate. No donation is too small!

If you are a blogger, help spread the word!