pencil box.

This morning I drove over to LP Pencil Box in West Nashville. It is run by The Pencil Foundation and is a free school supply store for Metro teachers. They are located at the McCann Alterative Learning Center; the school is on the top floor and LP Pencil Box has the bottom floor. They had about 4 inches of water in the building after the flood. The building itself wasn't damaged (except the floors) but the majority of their supplies and donations were sitting on the floor. It all had to be thrown out.

There were probably 20-25 volunteers working the 9-noon shift, and I was in the trash-moving group. Volunteers yesterday had sorted through things and determined what was salvageable, then moved it to the hall. I helped move everything from the hall onto the curb. It was a lot but with about five of us working and using shopping carts to move bags, it went surprisingly fast. Supplies that could be kept were moved to a clean room. Some people were in charge of disinfecting things: walls, chairs, carts, plastic tubs, etc.

In the store, water had come up to the bottoms of the shelves and messed up the floor pretty bad. The floor will be replaced so volunteers today took apart the shelves and moved them -- a very big task, there were a lot of parts and we had to keep them sorted so reassembling the shelves at some point would be possible.

This picture shows what the shelves look like on a normal day, but that room is now empty. The morning tasks were well organized. There was one lady, Ulli, who was in charge. She runs LP Pencil Box with volunteers, but I think she was feeling a little overwhelmed with so much cleanup ahead of her. She is doing a great job and with help, she plans to be back in normal operation by mid-June.

74% of Nasvhille Metro students are on free or reduced lunch (the federal definition of poverty), so this organization does great things in making essential supplies available for classrooms. If you want to make a monetary donation, volunteer, or donate supplies, click here: DONATE or VOLUNTEER.

I have now determined that one of the worst smells is wet cardboard. Wet cardboard that has been wet for a week. I moved a couple of soggy boxes outside and my gloves reeked. Despite several washings, it still hasn't come off my hands completely. If this water shortage isn't fixed soon, I might be asking my friends living outside of Davidson county to do some laundry for me.

Fortunately the weather today is awesome. A cold front (and small rain shower) moved through last night and the temperature is in the 60s. It got pretty hot working inside at the Pencil Box, but outside feels great. All the windows are open in my house and I'm enjoying it because it's supposed to get hot and sticky the second half of this week. Miles enjoys it too.

I'm hoping to get my new computer on Monday. (It's a Dell ... yeah, yeah. I love my Mac at work, but I don't have enough money to buy a Mac for my personal use.) My Dell Inspiron 6000 lasted 4.5 years but the RAM is failing me and I can only see the left 1/3 of the screen. So my browser is shrunk to about 4 inches wide, which makes blogging a little difficult. So next week I'll be working on a little renovation, hopefully making that sidebar a little less cluttered and widening the body. And no longer having to work on this 32GB hard drive will be sweet. I won't know what to do with 250GB! :)

Enjoy your weekend!

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