Tea, Tunes, and School Supplies

So, I’ve had a pretty busy week, but it hasn’t been without its successes. In part, that’s what’s been keeping me busy. Of all the things that I’ve been up to this past week, the biggest one was my charity event at the Kaleisia Tea Lounge. It was last Friday, so not quite a week ago, but by that time it had been several weeks in the making. I’d had to get in touch with Kim over at Kaleisia to work out the timing of our event that they were gracious enough to host. Then I had to find some student musicians.

USF students Matt Kondoff and George Teuber starting the show at Kaleisia.

It’s not that they had to be students, but I feel that since this whole project has been student led since the beginning of our class (with the help of Liisa Temple of course), that the musician that I was recruiting to play at Kaleisia while I collected supplies and shipping money  should also be students. Well, that actually wasn’t too hard, since I happen to know a few USF students (in the honors college no less) that play regularly in local bands. They were more than happy to play, it was just a matter of getting a definite commitment, which I did. Then it all came down to advertising.

Nic Stemm leads local Tampa band, Elicit in entertaining the crowd and helping raise school supplies.

I have to admit that there I fell a little short. I mean, I got the word out, but I didn’t make it the kind of crazy add campaign that I probably could have. Kaleisia made announcements on their website, facebook and twitter, and so did I. Although I should say that it wasn’t me, but my girlfriend, Alex, that created a facebook event page. I think her statement was something along the lines of “If you haven’t created a facebook page, it’s not official. Give me one of those fliers.” So, I have her to thank for that.  From there, I spent the week of the event spreading fliers around campus. By Thursday I realized that I’d been only putting them up in the part of campus that I seemingly live in—the east side (with all the social sciences and humanities). So I made a rushed effort to put some up in the science buildings. Although, a funny thing happened while I was doing that. As I was putting fliers in the Life Science building, I found a bulletin board and was about to tape a flier on it, when I realized that there was already one there! Looks like someone else beet me to it. Since I sent the fliers out to my classmate, and a few other friends, I assume it was one of them, but even then I’m unsure. Being a mystery makes me feel a little like the victim of a mysterious Good Samaritan. Whoever it was—thank you.

Me with Sgt. Christopher "Kit" Lowe, who was wounded while serving in Afghanistan. A good friend of Rex and Liisa Temple, he stopped by to offer his support for our project.

Well, all that led up to the actual event. It was great! The bands didn’t just show up and play, they enjoyed themselves, and their attitude infected the audience of college students and tea lounge visitors. Thanks to the folks at Kaleisia and the guys that came to play, we drew a pretty decent crowd. I think that on the whole, most of the people that came for the music each chipped in a dollar or two towards the shipping money, and the school supplies that we collected came mostly from people that came for the tea. By the end of the night we had a little over forty dollars towards shipping, and we had filled the big green bin that I had brought with (plus another backpack filled with supplies). Besides just what we managed to collect from the whole evening at Kaleisia, it was the kind of thing where a good time was had by all. People were happy to be there and happy to contribute. The musicians were happy to play, and several offered to play again if we ever do anything similar in the future. And, I had a good time doing something that benefits the people around me, and people half way around the world.

This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Awareness campaigns, Charity, Kaleisia Tea Lounge, Partner organizations, Shipping, Social media, Uncategorized, University of South Florida, US Army, USF Honors College, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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