Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If you're going to hold a charity bazaar, make it easier for visitors to find their own causes; a bust at Tyson's

Sunday night, I did a little experiment with “giving”.  I had played in the “Chess4Charity” event on Oct. 19 in Vienna, VA and seem that the group was going to have a presence at the “Giving Back” night at Tysons Corner Mall in northern VA Sunday night, Nov. 23.  Washington Nationals baseball player Ryan Zimmerman was to be present with the charity.
I found the concierge desk on the lower level, and indeed in a ring there was a giant chessboard set up, and a ping pong table.  But then the game turned to checkers.  I was told that the Mall did not have an index as to whether all the various charities were.  You had to walk the entire Mall to find them (which meets the self-interest of the Mall).  I never did find a table for “Chess4Charity” (link ) . I see that I covered this on the Issues blog Oct. 20). 
I had brought a chess set and old mechanical clock, and was ready to play.  So I played my MacIntosh MacBook today the “makeup game” and actually lost with White to an Albin Counter Gambit.  I’ll have to take more time and care when playing the computer (which will change defenses every game). (The computer uses the Stephen Hawking voice.)  The computer was a proxy for Ryan, whom I presume knows how to play chess as well as baseball.  (I’ve often tweeted that the Nationals and Redskins both [yes, would like a name change] should lean the game.)  OK, I lost my game to Ryan Zimmerman.  If I were a character in "South Park" I could lose a chess game to Brian Boitano, 
Some of the charities were for rather personal causes (like a last wish for a child), but one was for rescuing animals.  I showed them, on my iPhone, the link for Reid Ewing’s pet adoption cause (Facebook link) .  (See also, Feb 23, 2013 here.  Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg said recently  (in the CNN film “Ivory Tower”) that “nothing in life is free”.  Wish Reid’s films about “what in life is free” would reappear.)

The charities were spread out among all the entrances on the lowest level.  I even looked upstairs at the Food Court, near the AMC Theaters, and spotted someone outside Friday’s familiar to me from my past life in Minneapolis.

At First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC on Sunday (followed by a catered Thanksgiving dinner) Rev. Deborah Cochrane spoke about “Inheriting the Kingdom” (source Matthew 25:31-46).  For all the importance of charity, that wasn’t what this passage is about.  Yet, all the moral paradoxes in the gospels do seem to address the idea that in any civilized culture, people will be “unequal” and will have to deal with it. 

The “chess for charity” idea does sound like something I should be able to do something about.  Note also, that in front of Ted's Bulletin, Match Factory and Angelika Theaters in Merrifield, VA, there's a giant chess set that is missing two white knights. 
Update: Nov. 28

The Washington Nationals on the MLB site report that Ryan Zimmerman (and his wife Heather) volunteered packing Thanksgiving dinners at Food and Friends,  MLB video link here. Wikipedia reports that Ryan's mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995, so he had to take responsibility for others in family earlier in life than many people.  

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