Pinned to a corkboard in my home office is a blue badge. Three hundred and sixty days out of the year, it hangs there as a reminder…and for four days in November, that badge serves as a reminder of how driving social change – and doing good for the greater community – can happen in the smallest of ways.
That badge identifies me as director of the Chicago TARDIS Charity Auction.
I’ve written about the Chicago TARDIS Charity Auction in the past (here’s last year’s post for those who missed it), but it’s one of my more enjoyable non-professional activities. (And I’m fortunate enough that, as a freelancer, I can afford the time to work on it as well as the Chicago Doctor Who Meetup). And yes, this is an obvious ploy to recruit bidders and (more importantly) donors…but it’s also an effort for me to give back, and to “stay in the game” of nonprofit relations.
One of the great things about working the Chicago TARDIS Charity Auction is that all proceeds benefit Northern Illinois Food Bank, which serves 13 counties in the Western suburbs. With Chicago TARDIS holding its convention (focused on Doctor Who) in Lombard, this is a natural match between convention and organization…but more importantly, it meets a very simple need: doing good for others in a basic manner simply because it’s the right thing to do.
Most of my professional life has been spent working for one cause or another; it’s only been in the past few years where I’ve expanded to include “for-profit” organizations. Working on the Chicago TARDIS charity auction involves many steps – not just acquiring items for donation, but crafting web copy, creating appropriate methods and metrics, and coordinating/collaborating with other staff members. For a volunteer gig, it’s challenging, but also provides for some really great moments.
Moments like the time I held an actual Doctor Who prop from a frequently maligned story. From the people who say “hello”, seeing us as a fan-friendly addition to the conference. Having the casual encounter with a celebrity guest that comes out of nowhere. Yes, it’s also a lot of work (and for those complaining that it’s Thanksgiving weekend, all I have to say is…it’s a good way to avoid football). Getting to know fellow fans whom I encounter regularly in my convention and my private life. (Even my work as a published author doesn’t lead to as many chance encounters as does my involvement in Doctor Who fandom).
This may seem a bit self-indulgent for a blog post – after all, I’m used to writing more about the work that others do – but when I look at that blue badge on my corkboard, knowing that November is coming…I don’t see another obligation, or “it’s just work”….or even a ticket for attending a convention free of charge.
That Chicago TARDIS Charity Auction Director badge is, above all else…a badge of honor. And I’m proud to serve.
Know any other great work in the community? Know any unsung heroes or groups that need public recognition? Please share it in the comments section below, or let us know via our Facebook page. (If you want to reach out privately, simply use this “Contact Me” form or any information via this blog’s About page)
And as always, thanks for reading!
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