Friday, July 30, 2010

Babies, Travel and Appeals

The last few days have been very hectic. The DPE meetings finished on Saturday evening so I had a bit more time to spend with Jay, Dori and Riley until I left on Monday morning. It is fascinating to me when I watch Riley change from one day to the next.

In the time I was there I could see her get more proficient at crawling and controlling herself in focusing and playing. She still is motivated by getting things in her mouth but I could see her brain working to solve problems - how do I get this binky in my mouth properly? How do I get hold of that toy I can see over there? How does it feel to pull myself up on something? It goes on - watching her is a delight.

On Sunday evening we all went for dinner to the 4th Street Filling Station. Riley was pleasant, comfortable and seemed to enjoy being in the room with the people, the sounds, and the smells of a different environment. She ate her faux Cheerios and was busy looking and exploring - she seems to be happy and content and is clearly secure in knowing that everyone that comes into contact with her loves her. I can't wait to see her again - each time I see her the connection deepens. The next few years will be exciting for both of us.

I left Winston-Salem on Monday morning. The flights were to take me to Chicago, then Denver and then to Regina by 11:00 p.m. But I was able to get on the direct Chicago-Regina flight and arrived in Regina at 7:00 p.m. Which was a good thing as Stacey picked me up and rushed me home in time to join the UIA canvassers meeting.

UIA is the United Israel Appeal. This is a fund raising campaign where the Saskatchewan Jewish Council and every other Jewish Community in the world raises money for Israel, Israel advocacy and the support of Jews throughout the world.

In Regina the Saskatchewan Jewish Council - South organizes this campaign. With the help of a number of excellent, devoted canvassers our campaign reaches out to the Jewish Community and beyond to raise money for Israel. Given the very small size of our community we have a very successful campaign. Our contribution rate - that is, the number of individuals that respond positively when approached, is very high. We probably have the highest participation rate in Canada.

The meeting on Monday night was to have the canvassers receive and organize their contributors lists. For the first time we are completely electronic. We have done away with sheets and cards and replaced that with Excel spreadsheets that are personalized to each canvasser. This will make life an awful lot easier in terms of keeping track of donations and ensuring correct information regarding addresses, etc. is collected and kept.

Monday night ended with a fire in our backyard fire pit and relaxing with our friends the Mulatz's trying to catch up on each other's activities - it has been a busy summer for all of us.

I am writing this on Friday morning - there is a lot to catch up with from Tuesday to now - it will wait for my next entry.

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