Plans are afoot here in the funky dandelion patch and not just here but also over at Obscura's blog AncientArmitage and we have a couple of co-conspirators, too. We've been talking for months about rebooting SpReAd The Love and it's time to let you all in on it.
You can find the background of STL by clicking the tab at the top of the page but we're switching it up a little bit. It's a year long campaign with the official kick-off on January 1 and this time it all counts, any act of kindness that you either do for someone else or that is done for you. Leave an anonymous comment on this post or at Obscura's and we'll track them because we have a co-conspirator who's offered to donate £1 for each kindness between now and the end of February to Armitage's JustGiving charities, up to £200. If you have difficulty commenting you can email me at funkybluedelphinium at gmail dot com with the subject KINDNESS and I'll list it for you and keep it between us.
So what counts? Like I said, any act of kindness. Donating blood, donating food, paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line, reading a book to a child or a senior citizen whose eyesight is failing, carrying your neighbor's groceries up four flights of stairs, letting a petty disagreement go. We also want to hear about things done for you because if it touches you it could inspire someone else.
To really kick things off here I'm posting the first three kindnesses. The first is our anonymous co-conspirator willing to make the donation to Armitage's charities. The second is an anonymous commentor on a piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago who's been encouraging and engaging and who I really hope sticks around. Last but definitely not least is Gisborne'sBoy who kindly made the graphic that you'll see over at Obscura's in exchange for undying gratitude and unbounded affection. Thanks, each of you. As for the rest of you, ready to SpReAd some love? Let's go.
Edit 1/3/13: I'm permanently saving the text of this post here and you are welcome to add comments with kindnesses you've either done for someone else or that have been done for you to help us with record keeping to max out our monetary donor before the end of February and also so that you can inspire each other. Everyone has something to share and, again, if you want you are more than welcome to either comment or email anonymously. This morning I think we counted 20 acts of kindness so we're off to an amazing start and thank you to each of you for giving from your hearts.
I also wanted to link to the permanent Facebook page of the original SpReAdTheLove Valentine Challenge which you are more than welcome to join. It was inspired by an off hand comment in January 2012 on Gratiana Lovelace's Richard Armitage Friends Network Facebook page that a member would gladly donate a pint of blood to any of us who needed it. Blood drives are a big deal in my area, especially around Valentine's Day, so I ran with it, issuing a pint or pound challenge to a small group of friends within the fandom. The pint was, obviously, a pint of blood and the pound was a pound of food to local food banks if a participant wanted to do something but couldn't donate blood. That first effort was small but then in the summer Servetus suggested doing it again around the time of Armitage's birthday and made me the supersnazzy graphic you can see on the other SpReAdTheLove page. At that time I added a Twitter account for it, @SpReAdTheLove11. There were some amazing kindnesses, including one donation of 66 pounds of fresh tomatoes donated to the giver's local soup kitchen that STILL boggles my mind. That run was also when I first met Obscura, who emailed me with ideas for the next one. The next one, as it turned out, was the Gift Bomb for The Hobbit premiere in December 2012. Servetus included a monetary donation for SpReAdTheLove donations in her Gift Bomb Armitage's JustGiving charities to thank him for being a good egg.
Between then and now I took a long break from blogging until Obscura contacted me about doing it again in Fall 2013. We decided that we really didn't want to fence you all in so we'd take whatever you wanted to do, any act of kindness, and we both want to thank you all for embracing it. In the next few months you'll hear from Obscura and I about other challenges we're going to issue to you all and we're already working on something for December 2014 (hmmm, what could be happening then, I wonder?) but for that we'll need some more direct involvement from any of you who might want to give your time. Thanks again for taking this idea to heart. What can we do? A ton, as it turns out, as long as it's together.