Sunday, December 17, 2006
swap meet, dollar store,and army surplus
The branch manager at my office, Dennis Shoffner, put together a clothing drive for the homeless as part of a big Christmas party he and his wife put on every year. I think it's a great thing to do and a great way to make a difference. I'm grateful that he put it together so that we could be a part of it. Soooo, on Saturday morning, Ross, Jane, Sam and I went to the Mesa Marketplace Swapmeet (There's a whole 'lotta shoppin' goin' on per the TV ads) to find socks, gloves, toothbrushes, and blankets.
It wasn't too busy and it's all indoors so not cold either. The kids were out of their sweatshirts by the end of breakfast, which consisted of french toast, pancakes, toast, milk, hash browns, scrambled eggs and sausage. This swap meet wins awards in the New Times every year for best cheap breakfast or something. (My parents would say that Ikea is better, my wife would say it's not.)
We first found some old (think Houston Oilers) officially licensed NFL cotton gloves. They were brand new with tags and they were 3/$1 so we bought 102 pair. Sam and Jane also picked out some gardening gloves, Janes were pink and white and Sam's have little watermelons on them. I'm pretty sure we got the gardening gloves for free under the 'buy 100 of anything, get 2 free' policy. We took the gloves (in a large garbage bag) back to the car then turned our focus to socks.
We made a deal with a lady named Ginny (Virginia, like my mom) from Michigan for 100 pair of crew socks (not to be confused with tube socks), plus we bought a few for me and for Ross and Sam. I had promised the kids some ice cream so we hit the snack bar after that. (Note: Who knew they had beer at the swap meet?)
100 toothbrushes at the dollar store, plus 100 packs of gum. We then checked army surplus for blankets but they were really big. I did pick up a little something for my dad there so I can cross him off of my christmas list. The kids tried on military helmets and sam was asking to try on a gas mask but I talked him out of it. We looked at parachutes, tried on goggles, opened ammo boxes, looked at vintage GI Joes, and Ross and Jane had an interesting conversation about the bear rug hanging on the wall. It reminded me of the hangover conversation in "School of Rock" with Jack Black.
Ross: Look at that bear!
Jane: Is that a real bear?
Ross: No, but it used to be a real bear.
They had free suckers at the checkout so that made the trip complete.
Great job Dennis, for putting this whole thing together.
Dennis: Full of Christmas Cheer