Share the Love

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

Last year, just before Valentine’s Day, I volunteered at work and packed Care boxes. This year, when the opportunity came up again to pack care boxes – and deliver them in support of the Serve the City, Ireland charity I had to do it. Plus, now that I have my full license – it’s time to give back to the community and make sure they’re being delivered as well.

Last Wednesday, at work, I stayed for an hour volunteering – and helped to write 80 cards while the boxes were packed. On Saturday, I went down to the Serve the City offices in Terenure (South Dublin) and we started all over again. First was the list on the flip chart with an overview of what we were supposed to be doing.

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

ServetheCity2016 (2)

This time, I folded the boxes and added in the red wrapping for each. From there, the boxes were filled with a box of chocolates, a small package of teabags, a heart shaped mug, and beautiful handwritten cards titled “for someone special”.

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

The boxes then had a gorgeous ribbon tied on them.

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

They were stacked:

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

After a quick group photo of a job well done –

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we chose the routes. There were 9 delivery routes around Dublin city – some with a handful of boxes, and some with multitudes of boxes to be delivered.

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

I chose a route through Finglas – and had the chance to deliver 20 boxes. They filled my car!

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

And then the deliveries started. I picked up my roommate and then we headed out – Some were simple – we have a care package for you – and others – we were invited inside, had a little chat, and really enjoyed seeing all those we were sharing good tidings with. Acts of Kindness are awesome! I hope my roommate enjoyed herself – and decides to participate again in the future. Volunteering for Valentines – sharing the Love – I think it works.

Serve the City Ireland Valentine's Day care box packing and gift delivery. #volunteering #randomactsofkindness

Serve the City 2016 Share the Love Care boxes day

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Hats for the Homeless

Ireland is in a homeless crisis. Year over year, the number of homeless (especially homeless children) is up over 100%. As the Irish people struggle through the shortage of housing (and increased rents are forcing out many low income individuals), the government is arguing over how best to address the crisis and where to find the funds. You can see many articles in the local papers:

Number of Homless Children Doubles in a Year

Homeless Epidemic requires more state support

Overall the problem is shocking. On Saturday, while in the city center for drinks with friends, I counted 3 people that were sleeping rough in a 5 block radius. Last night (Monday), in the pouring rain, I counted 7 all drenched to the skin, and obviously quite miserable. (I too was drenched but at least I had a nice warm home and bed to go to). It is everywhere – from here in the city center to out in the less urban areas. And Winter is coming. The cold temperatures haven’t even started yet.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been very focused on what I can do to help those who have found themselves homeless. Despite working 50 hour weeks at work, I won a yarn lottery and suddenly found myself with 70 “free” skeins of yarn. I had asked for chunky yarn and decided that this was the Universe’s way of telling me here – set to work – here’s what you can do. Thus, I began making hats, earwarmers, and scarves for the homeless. In the course of 4 weeks of my free time, I have crochet and donated 2 hats.

Another 2 hats done.. one loom and one crochet.

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I also bought a loom yarn and made a scarf and 2 more adult sized hats (they go much faster), and a child sized earwarmer.

First adult sized knitted loom hat done. :)

First adult sized knitted loom hat done. :)

Finished loom knit scarf to match the hat. Oct. 18, 2015

Child size ear warmer loom knit. Completed 10/18/2015

I know it’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things, nor does it cost any “money”. I suppose, though, I hope it is helping someone, somewhere. Because it could be me someday -and that is what keeps me going. If you’d like to make a few hats, scarves, or participate in the shoebox appeal for Inner City Helping the homeless, please check their website.

Inner City Helping Homeless

I’m sure they’d appreciate any help they can get.

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Oktoberfest in Dublin

Prost! Oktoberfest 2015, Dublin Ireland. #erdinger #prost #bier #autumn #oktoberfest #drink #dirndl #dublinlife #dublin #ireland #festival #friday #tgif

One of the best jokes Germany every played on the rest of the world was to name Octoberfest “Octoberfest”. Why? Because the uneducated think that the party is for the entire month of October. Only it’s not. Octoberfest actually ends on the first weekend of October – and it runs for nearly the full month of September. That being said, however, it is just as much fun having Octoberfest in Germany, as it is visiting the sponsored Octoberfest which is held on the Dublin Docklands for the past few years.

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

If you’ve ever lived in Germany, you are familiar with Erdinger Weissbrau. It’s a popular cloudy wheat beer with a light flavor, and it’s quite easy to drink. They sponsored the event, which several of us attended on (when else) the 2nd of October – the very last weekend it was running. It was packed – from the moment we arrived, there was a wait that went from the entry area (where you could buy a few drinks and ride some rides while avoiding the major push of the beer tents). We talked to a couple people in line – and discovered that it was about 3 hours wait (Yah… NO!).

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015 The line is around the square, out from the docklands and all the way up to Connelly station!

Deciding that waiting in line was no fun, we settled just under the arch, next to a ride, and found ourselves some seats (thanks to my endowed chest in the Dirndl!) where we could have a chat, eat a bit, and people watch while enjoying the atmosphere.
Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

While the ladies and I had some traditional bratwurst, sauerkraut and pickles,

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Paddy enjoyed some meat on a stick and a bread bun. And of course, we all had to try the beer.

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

Finally, after hanging out until about 10pm, the line was gone. Why? because unless you had a wristband you couldn’t get served Beer after 10PM. Luckily, when we bought food, we got our wristband. That meant that we waited about 2 hours – and finally were able to get to the main event itself. We crossed a bit of the dock and went through a barricade – where we found lots of tables in the traditional Munich Blue and white – but also with “green” for Dublin. We had arrived!

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

Welcome to the Beer Tent! Yes, we found seats, and yes, we joined in the festival.

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

Naturally, with 1 liter beers, there were plenty of drunk / snoozing folks on the benches (note random stranger below who kept balancing on the bench while snoring quite loudly):

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

(We did eventually convince him to take a taxi home) and the other random stranger who decided to plop down and join our happy little group.

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015S asking “why are you here”?

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015

Of course, what would Oktoberfest be – without the obligatory picture of me in my Dirndl, serving up a couple large liter jugs of Proper German Beer!

Oktoberfest Dublin 2015
And so it is that I say until next year, and….

PROST!

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