Good Works Tour


So… basically beignettes are funnel cake? by timurian
July 31, 2008, 3:43 am
Filed under: Tim

Hey GWT fans,

Today we drove from New Orleans to Spring, Texas – right outside of Houston. As we go west the country starts to change again, the air is dryer than in Lousiana or Florida, and the sky seems even more vast. (I guess everything is bigger in Texas). Every now and again we look at one another and go ‘Wow… we’re in Texas!’ It seems like so far from home. If you get a chance check out our google map – that’s about 2,000 miles worth of driving. (Dr. Lou, you were right on the money)

Here’s the first of two videos from New Orleans, it’s a little less full of our usual chicannery, but I strongly recommend checking it out!

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We get a taste of N.O.L.A.; two years after the levee broke by wisedog
July 30, 2008, 12:52 am
Filed under: Zach | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last night, the GWT rolled into New Orleans, a landmark spot for the tour. We all knew that even so long after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, that the Good Works Tour would be able to help out in some capacity.  Rumors and reports had had it that not much had changed deep in the 9th ward since the floods.  We had no clue how true those stories were.

We started the day by working with Common Ground Relief, a small but sturdy organization that does everything from rebuilding houses to providing free legal support to those who need it.  We were dispatched to a house that had been devastated by the flood waters, and had seen no help even two years later.  We, along with a team of volunteers from CGR, as well as a Jewish youth social responsibility program, went to work gutting the house, removing everything we could from inside.  Houses like the one we worked on today are in danger of being demolished, and the properties foreclosed; the only way one can tell if a house is even worth salvaging is by gutting it completely.

After the  morning’s labor, we broke for lunch and some interviews, then we and the team went down to a property across the street from where the levee broke and cut their grass — much like elsewhere in the U.S., property owners are required to maintain their lawns — now overgrown and chaotic.  CGR offers their help to protect to struggling home owner from fines or jailtime. (By letting us cut their grass.  With machetes!)

Seeing the reality of the lower 9th ward for ourselves meant something different to each of us.  You’ll find more about it and our own personal efforts here in the Crescent City when we put together our NOLA video, featuring real-life footage from a city still in need, coming soon.



“We crossed the Mississippi? I missed it?” by jamesintrocaso

That comment was made by our one and only Wisedog today as we headed from Gainesville, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana. Indeed, we did cross the great river (which was apparently disapointing to the Wisedog) and now we’re comfy and cozy at the Days Inn in New Orleans. We’ll be here until Wednesday working in the city to help with the continuing efforts to clean up the events of a disaster that hit the area almost three years ago. This stop is by far one of our most important and we hope you’ll follow us as we complete the journey.

Today, we’ve got two videos for y’all (Southern, right?). One is the much anticipated video of the good works of volunteers at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, SC and another is a compilation of our good works in Gainesville (and to our hosts, I tip my hat for helping us find the good works and for looking oh so good on camera).

The Southern United States are beautiful and for all of you at home in the Jersey area, if you haven’t been you should check it out. Seems people down here are already more into doing good works for one another and a little more willing to lend a hand to neighbors and friends.

Now my spider senses are tingling because it seems that many people are visiting our blog, but our videos are not getting as many views as our blog is getting hits. In that case, do us a favor, if you haven’t watched ANY of our videos, watch one. You might be surprised. If you’ve watched one or more, I encourage you to watch another. We’re particularly proud of the two we are posting tonight. We’ve been hard at work in the van and at the hotel on these.

Thanks,

James



Hard work in Gainesville by wisedog
July 27, 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Zach | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today was a great day for the Good Works Tour (and for the Wisedog in particular (Yeah, I just referenced myself in the 3rd person.  EAT THAT, INTERNET!)) My cousins Nick and Rachel, and their son Cecil, have been absolutely wonderful to us, and our hard work is being rewarded with some amazing downtime in their wonderful home in Gainseville, FL.

“What work?” you ask? Well, this morning, we got down and dirty in the front lawn yanking 4′ pieces of rebar (once used to keep large plants (which got stolen) from getting stolen.)  After some thinking, the ensuing crippling confusion, and ultimately Nick’s ingenuity, application of simple machines, and excellent use of Archemedes‘ principles (plus a little teamwork and elbow grease), we yanked the metal rods of danger from the lawn.

After a break, featuring some regionally traditional sweet tea, we headed off to the future site of an alternative preschool, where the GWT took over an operation digging holes for, planting, and cementing posts for a wire fence.  The video of our day of work in the Gainesville sun (and rain! We had to rig a bag to cover the camera at one point) will be up soon.  

“But we want videos NOW!” you scream at your computer?  Well, Good Works Fans, how happy we are to provide!  Here’s a little featurette highlighting our visit to the Grateful Golden Rescue, in Charleston, S.C.

Our time here with my family has been fantastic, and it’s given us a time to cool off a bit and reassess before we start our journey to the Pacific.  At this one-week marker for the Tour, we’d like to thank everybody reading, watching, and following along.  We wouldn’t be out on the road helping people out without your continued support and encouragement!  (Well, we might.  But we’d be broke, and we’d be having a miserable time.)

We leave in the morning for a long day of driving to start our week in New Orleans.  It’s been a blast spending time with my cousins, and we got to do some of the real Good Works that we had hoped to do when we set out.  Stay with us — a day on the road also means a day of editing video for us, so more internet adventures are coming your way. 

We’ll see you further on down the trail.  – Wisedog



James hates spiders. by timurian
July 26, 2008, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Tim | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hey GWT fans,

Today we hit our one week on the road mark! When I told the guys it’s our anniversary they told me I was being clingy. Last night we camped outside of Charleston on St. James Island. It was gross. I love camping, but it’s really humid down south. We also learned some patience from our fellow campers.

“Guys quiet down! You need to go to sleep now!” – a counselor commands 30 kids at 11:30pm.

“Please… please be quiet.” – a counselor weakly pleads at 7:30 am.

PLUS, we had a random act of kindness committed on us! We arrived at the campsite after dark and John from USC offered to help us with our tent, and brought a gigantic lantern to help us see. Thank you wherever you are John!

We hit the road early and made it all the way to Gainesville, Florida where we are staying with Zach’s cousins, who have been absolutely terrific.

We want to send a big shout out to Kim Lowden and Kathy Goulburn, two other Collingswooders – Collingswoodstonians – uhh people from Collingswood on a road trip for meeting up with us.

Tomorrow we get dirty – really dirty – because we’re moving dirt! Stay tuned, and keep telling your friends, grandparents, and veterinarians!



Hospitals and Puppy Dogs by jamesintrocaso

Good Works Fanatics (and other mildly enthused individuals),

I think I speak for both of my friends when I say that today was simply awe-inspiring. The world is freaking amazing.

We started off at a hospital today and we met a whole ton of volunteers who were some of the world’s best people. From 95 year old Shep, who delivered magazines, to 15 year old Haley who dreams of becoming a doctor, this was great. St. Francis is probably the nicest looking and best hospital that I’ve ever been inside and their staff of volunteers and employees could not be beat. They ranked number one in customer service last year. Find out more about them at http://ropersaintfrancis.com/bssf/default.asp

Next we visited the folks at Golden Rescue. You can visit these guys at http://www.ggrlc.org/. These guys are great because they find homes and foster golden retrievers in SC. SC doesn’t have as many animal rights laws as we do in the North East so they provide a valuable service to our canine friends and place them with families. We also got to play with dogs.

Finally today we met a very kind man on the beach (we went to touch the Atlantic Ocean one time before we head West). He’s from Philly and lives in SC now, but misses Wawa coffee. One good work we’ll be performing is sending this man coffee once we get back home. He gave us some super advice, that may be up soon.

Well friends, we’ll be camping tonight and driving all day tomorrow to get to Florida to see Wisedog’s cousins. Follow us on our google map and look for more videos coming soon about our adventures here in SC.

Thanks,

James

“I believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank



Making good by wisedog
July 25, 2008, 3:03 am
Filed under: Zach | Tags: , , , , , ,

Sorry about this third post today (and by a third person, no less), but we thought it was important enough that we get our new, fresh, hot-off-the-griddle videos to our demanding (but loving) audience.  Enjoy them — and more are on their way!

– Z