Rain Barrels & Airplanes

Hey Friends – Let’s get some rain barrels for Oliver residents!

In a recent conversation I held with a loyal T6B volunteer, I made mention of a new initiative we’re spear-heading in Oliver: To obtain and outfit 60 rain barrels for use in public spaces and resident homes.

What are rain barrels? Why are they useful? These simple designs allow us to capture and retain rainfall for use in yards and parks (and playscapes if you’re T6B). This is not just environmentally intelligent—it also helps residents reduce their home water bills. In fact, many people receive tax credits for water reduction related to proper rain barrel use (we’re working hard to make this happen for Oliver residents). When properly outfitted and distributed, rain barrels help a community tap into its natural resources in an eco-savvy, cost-efficient way. A win for the environment, a win for residents… and a win for the social entrepreneurs at T6B who made this a priority—IF we can raise the money to purchase them for the community…

As with most conversations with T6B loyalists, this one soon took an interesting turn. See I’m a development guy, so all these ideas we have and receive from residents in Oliver come across my desk at some point—usually with a big red “$0” on them. So I put them on my “To Be Funded” list and start scratching around for a few dollars here, a few there…

I told my volunteer friend that we want to purchase and begin distributing the rain barrels this summer and mentioned that they are $65 apiece. Since we’re aiming for 60 total rain barrels, it’s a $3900 price tag to get our number. To which he said, “Good luck.” I told him I didn’t need luck—I have an incredible family of supporters.

So we decided to put a little skin in the game. I told him that I was entirely confident that T6B—with its amazing network of character-driven social philanthropists—could raise $4000 in 60 days. Yes, I rounded up. Easier math and I’m just plain confident.

Think about it: T6B engaged over 500 unique volunteers on the Bethel Street Playscape and Garden project alone. We have 1,310 followers on Facebook. And growing. Call it slacktivism if you like, but our Facebook folks are rad. They not only show up for the Farm Stand, Semper Friday, special projects and last minute calls-to-action—they bring their friends. If they live out of state, they still take time to tune in and cheer us on and show up whenever they can book it to Bmore. If we got each of them to give $3.05, we’d have our $4,000. So let’s say we get half of them… ok, now the cool kids are on the hook for $6.10. Nobody has to sweat a c-note to make this happen for Oliver.

Our wager: If The 6th Branch gets the full $4,000 for all 60 of our desired rain barrels in 60 days, I, Noah Smock, will jump out of a plane (with a parachute on my back). I have never sky-dived before but I’m happy to do so if it means you will tune into my progress here and throw a little change in my hat (for Oliver). I’ll even shoot a video of it to post on our Facebook page and website and you can all laugh at me as I scream (safely) toward earth.

If The 6th Branch falls short of the $4,000 goal, I have to write “I was wrong about my ability to run a grassroots campaign for Oliver” on the blackboard 4,000 times.

To be clear: You are not donating any money for me to go sky-diving. I have that covered—but only if you chip in for Oliver rain barrels.

I am proud to say this project has earned the Official Diva Stamp of Approval from Black is the New Green. If you somehow missed the buzz on these T6B eco-allies, you’ll want to quickly and quietly go to https://www.facebook.com/bthenewgreen and http://bthenewgreen.com/ so you can act like you know what you’re talking about in the near future. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

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