I have spent the last several weeks trying to set up places where I could leave boxes that people could put donations in at different locations. Of course it is crucial to get permission, and then you have to go about setting it up and making sure people know it even exists.
Today I set up a box in the art building on USF campus, in the Visual Resources Center. I hope to have another one up soon, but that will suffice for now. I made up fliers and posted them all throughout the area – the art students and faculty are actually fairly receptive to such postings, and take note of them, as long as they don’t think they are being advertised to, to which they will sometimes go so far as to remove the offending blight. They also tend to be very open to helping others and charity. There have been food and clothing drives, and fundraising events. Just today in class we discussed a number of charitable events while discussing war photography and current events in Syria, allowing me to bring up what we were doing here, prompting my teacher to suggest sending an email through the department wide listserv (mass mailer), an excellent idea.
Nor was this the only place I was able to make progress with. Last Tuesday I sent out a number of emails to local cafes and coffee shops in the area, asking if they would allow me to leave a donation box in their store. Almost immediately I got an enthusiastic yes from Sacred Grounds, a coffee house located on Busch Boulevard that is well loved by locals. As soon as I can scrounge up a box and get it presentable I will get it set up there. I really am thankful for the support of my community.
Another unexpected interest came from members of the Occupy Tampa movement, who wanted to learn more about the movement and possible arrange an event together. I am keeping my fingers crossed!