Flannery Correspondence

February 25, 2013

Oh, great, another MLM

I’m busy.  I don’t read most emails that come through my various inboxes.  I’m not a trasher but I do “file” almost everything immediately into prioritized folders that really only delay the inevitable trash button.

The other day I received an email with a lot of energy … too much energy.  A good friend with whom I too seldom correspond was super-excited to tell me all about — what?  Probably just another MLM.  No thanks; I’m busy.

For some reason, weeks later I accidentally noticed its contents.  Here’s what it said, mildly anonymized:

Hi [you two],

I wanted to talk to you, [name], about this crazy idea this morning in the hall after church, but since my son insisted on treating the little, old man on oxygen like a bowling pin to knock down, I decided it wasn’t a good time to talk in order to ensure the old man lived…

Anyway, [husband] and I have been anxious/antsy/excited/terrified to do something big for God – something bigger than us or anything our little brains could come up with.  As a starting point, we found out about this organization, 25 in change (25inchange.org).  It was started at Denver Pathways church.  They have a new campaign set to start on April 7th and their goal is to have 5 churches committed to be involved (at the moment, they have 2, Denver Community Church and Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church).  Currently, I’m begging [another church] to be involved so I figure the more people I tell, the better chance we have (of course, everyone I tell gets this look of terror in their eye…which makes me think I’m self-sabotaging).  So, bear with us (I just thought, if everyone thinks we’re nuts, then maybe you guys/small group would want to join in some capacity, because the past has proved you’re all as nuts as we are).

The basics are this:

25 people (advocates)
25 days
$25 sponsorships

Each advocate needs a $25 sponsorship for 3 meals a day for 25 days (75 sponsors each, as a person can only sponsor 1 time).  The advocate agrees to eat only rice and beans each meal, each day (because this is what will be served to the hungry and starving).  If every meal is sponsored (and we really hope it is, because if the kids don’t eat, then we don’t eat), then our group of 25 people will have raised $46,875 to be donated to the World Food Programme (and with 5 churches involved, that’s $234,375!).  WFP provides school lunches to kids in the poorest countries of the world.  They feed them at school because they’ve found parents are much more likely to send their kids to school if they will be fed.  The stats on world hunger are so astounding and this is an “easy” way we can make a real impact.  Just $25 buys 100 meals in countries where children are starving to death. To put it in a little more perspective, most of the world lives on $.23/day.  The average U.S. person lives on $70/day.  That’s why I say it’s “easy” for us: such a short time of sacrifice in the grand scheme of things to provide 187,500 meals for children who would otherwise not be fed.
On the flip side of fighting world hunger, the sponsors, along with their $25 donation, agree not to eat fast food for 25 days as a way to fight obesity in America (our big killer).

We would love to be able to present this at our church and be one of the 5 churches in this April campaign.  The FAQ section of the organization’s website will answer any other questions you could come up with, I think.

Can you let us know your thoughts?  Bring it to your small group (I told [one person] about it and I’m pretty sure she thinks I’ve lost my mind, bless her heart).

Thanks so much!

Can you see why while skimming that it came off like the old “Put $1 in ten envelopes, mail them to this list, then send a letter asking everyone you know to do the same.”?  After more careful inspection, it sounds like an interesting way to grow a charity:  Recruit participants who fundraise while performing an attention-grabbing gimmick.  What do you think?


November 20, 2011

It’s a Boy!

Nehemiah Baux Flannery was born at 9:50pm on 11-1-11. He weighed 6lb 5oz and was 19 in long. We are all doing well, so happy to have this little man in our arms.


June 19, 2010


Filed under: Funny or Odd, Good News for a Change, Human Gold — BrianOFlan @ 13:04

In line for the RedBox, a carefully dressed black man approached me. He was not well dressed — his button-up collared shirt was worn, plaid and maybe flannel but it was tucked in and every button done. His baseball cap was old but his haircut tight. Everything about him was old but careful, especially his perfect posture. What struck me was how lively his movements were for being an antique.

I started talking to him because he started talking to himself. Extra loud, almost belligerent.  I thought having a conversation would be better than watching him rave on to nobody and everybody.  The whole time “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe” played in my mind.

They should have those RedBoxes outside so people won’t line up and get in the way.  But, oh no, it’s all about the dollar.  No concern for customer safety or convenience.

America isn’t here anymore; it’s lost.  I’m 76 years old and I remember when America was real… then it all started to change.  Used to be, a little girl could walk down the sidewalk at 9PM at night, six blocks or more without anything terrible happening to her.

Everything’s for sale, from Obama on down — anything you want, no problem, just hand over the money and tell us where you want it, you got it — and all the people you need to work it.  We have slavery every day.

Child molesters don’t get killed.  They stay alive in prisons with murderers and rapists.  I tip my hat to policemen.  They have a hard job because America’s not the same.  If you want to clean up this country you’d have to round up and kill men.  You’d have to lynch 200 men a day, from the time the sun comes up until it goes down.  Heh heh, that sounds bad but that’s what it’d take.

I wish there was a way to change the system, restore some good name for America.

It’ll never happen.  You try to change politics or clean up this corruption, people will kill you.  They like the corruption.  Everybody’s in on it.  Nobody wants to see anything true.

So you’re 76, how have you spent your time?

Well, my wife and I raised three children.  Now they’re grown up but they say, “Dad, you were hard on us.  You were strict.”  I put them in private school because I wasn’t about to send them to public school where the teachers weren’t allowed to whip them with a belt.

Grandchildren?  (Yes.)  Good.  Everyone healthy?

Yes, everybody’s healthy but they got an education, you know.  I worked two jobs my whole life to make sure to pay for their schooling.

Where’d you work?

I worked at the same company for over thirty years — a good union job doing industrial deliveries.  I got into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Wow!  Few people can say they spent a solid three decades with one company.  Do you still work?

Working that long is the only way to draw a good pension.  I retired in 2005 but the IBEW still sends me letters saying they’ll put me to work if I ever want it.  They take care of their own.

It’s nice to be able to retire.

Sure… but I still want to work.  If you go home and just sit around then you die.

It was time for him to order his food so I shook his hands and we parted.  I wish I could figure out a way to get his name.  I’d look him up and invite him to Sunday picnics in the front yard.  (I have a hard time asking total strangers who they are.)

I don’t agree with everything he said.  Advocating lynchings, for example.  He thinks America is a lost cause:  “Nobody wants to see the right thing happen.  Well, maybe a few individuals here and there but not enough.  Everyone’s for sale.”  I hope we’ll turn to make one last stand for civilization.

It did my heart good to see an old timer so determined to avoid death-by-retirement.  I hope I’m so capable when I’m in my fourth quarter.

Moral of the story:  Talk to strangers.  Offer them your name.  Find out how they’ve spent they’re decades.  What’s more important than people?

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