Giving Small

       Don't Have a Cow!¬†¬†Give a Cow to Someone Who Needs It

Weekly update newsletter is being moved. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 22, 2008

* Mooo on Over Clarabelle - It's Oreo's Turn (Cow #5)

We did it again. Clarabelle, Cow #4, has been purchased.

Based on our poll our next cow is called Oreo so here she comes.

Oreo starts off with $54.15 in the cow bank, so we've got to raise $245.85.


The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912 in the USA and quickly became a popular cookie.

Over 491 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since they were first introduced, making them the best selling cookie of the 20th century.[1]

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

* Double Your Donation - Support Station 20 West

Diagram of Station 20 West

So this is our first attempt at trying out fundraising for a local cause in addition to "Give a Cow". You choose which you'd like to support.

Station 20 West had the most votes out of the list of local causes, so we have a month to collect and contribute lots of bottles and cans. Station 20 West can go ahead if they receive our help and help from other community members. Station 20 West has raised $325,000 and hopes to raise 1.6 million more by December 2008. Station 20 West is going ahead and things are scaled back a bit.

How does the Double Match Work?

Double match for Station 20 West

An anonymous donor as well as Tim Hutchinson and Lorraine Salt will match your donation / recycling containers contributions. Tim and Lorraine will match up to $300 raised. The anonymous donor will match up to $1000.

So that means for the first $300 we raise an additional $600 will be donated as well. If we raise more than $300 dollars, it will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1000.

The match deadline is September 21, 2008.

Let's see what we can raise. Direct donations to Station 20 or contributions of cans/bottles will be counted.

So far, since the survey we have raised $137.70

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Monday, August 18, 2008

* Cow Project Inspires Artist

Kate Hodgson was inspired by my survey a few weeks ago where I asked if I should open the cow kimono and come out of the barn and travel at warp speed around social networks. The result was "yes, do it". So far I've poked out one horn and a nose.

Cow wearing kimono, drinking saki, holding fan
According to Kate, and it's not easy holding a fan or pouring a cup of saki without opposable thumbs...

What can I say Kate? She's even more beautiful than I imagined. I notice that she wearing one of my fav colors - turquoise. :-)

I guess I could say she reminds me of cockroaches ... and another creative spark in our history.

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* Got Stuff to Get Rid Of? We Have a Virtual Cash Cow Idea

Got stuff you'd like to get rid of?
Think of donating the stuff (along with bottles and cans) to the Virtual Cow Garage Sale so we can have more cash for cows.

Retro End Table
SOLD - Retro End Table

New ideas often pop up by remixing old ideas. So here's how I fell into a new way to raise some money for Clarabelle taking inspiration from Street Cat Garage Sale items, FullCirclesSaskatoon, end tables, and walking Maggie.

Don't worry I still want your recycling containers. I'm just taking recycling a couple of steps further.

My neighbor, Urve, has been hosting the Street Cat Garage Sale for years. I am a customer and donor of stuff. Sometimes after the sale is over people still drop off more stuff. I suggested that we could post some stuff filling up her garage on Kijiji, a free classified ad site for Saskatoon. So I took photos and Urve handed the sales and it worked.

I also participate in a group that keeps stuff that other people can use out of the landfill called FullCirclesSaskatoon. If you have something to give you post it as an offer or if you want something, you post a Wanted notice. Here's how they describe the group which is open to anyone:

The concept is simple:

You don't need it, don't throw it out ~
post it up and gift it to someone.

All items have to be FREE!

So I started giving lots of stuff away for myself and then for friends and neighbors. I also started receiving stuff like jigsaw puzzles, books, etc.

And of course I love to my walk my dog. One day I spotted a small pine table, an apartment size ironing board, a retro coffee table from the 1950's in mint condition beside a garbage bin. I collected these finds and took them home thinking I could post them to FullCirclesSaskatoon. I debated about the retro end table.

So I looked at this odd ball collection of things and thought about the Urve, the street cat garage sale items on Kijiji and had an ah-ha moment. I could try a "virtual" garage sale for "Give a Cow" to see if it might be a "cash cow". When it takes 30 bottles for $3.00, getting $3.00 at a time seems like a whole lot of riches.

So I posted some ads, adding a line about the fact that all proceeds go the "Give a Cow". That's certainly opening the cow kimono in Kijiji community. Helping a family has really resonated with many of the purchasers. Often they come to look at one item and ask to see other stuff and some even donate a bit of change for the cow.

So this week, along with my random finds, I have posted items that neighbors have given to me (letting them know it's for the cow). It's been a week and we have $89.00 from the virtual garage sale. That's a pretty big chunk of cow!

Stay tuned for more ideas from your "mad about recycling" cow enthusiast.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

* Blowing on Both Horns

Highland cow near Niagara Ontario
Photo a Highland Cow, a heritage breed from southern Ontario. By Cathy Holtslander

So many folks to thank - good thing we have two horns to toot about it! We almost have Clarabelle (Cow #4) paid for. Moo hoo!

First the photo above is from Cathy Holtslander who is helping out with the cow. Kyle is drinking beer for the cause. Thanks Kyle.

Cathy also sent me another photo of a cow. Unlike most folks who don't have many pictures of cows, Cathy's interest in organic farming has given her unique opportunities to appreciate bovines.

Cow with cactus -- Baja California Mexico
Cathy took this cow picture in the Baja in Mexico where it's so dry cactus will grown on cows. Now that's dry and one tough cow.

Vicki and Paul and Zac

These are dedicated cow supporters -- more rolls of pennies and more recycling containers. About every couple of weeks the cow gets a boost from these folks and Zac gets a treat and some play time.

The Archives and Special Collections Folks

When I was round to drop off pies, I picked up a huge bag of recycling goodies. These guys are super.

Chris and Sue

Thanks to my neighbors Chris and Sue for dropping off another bag of cans for the cow.


Marie is a great neighbor and friend. She's been supportive of my cow project from the get-go. Not only does she love outrageously priced cow pies but she's started to spot bottle/can stashes in odd corners of the neighborhood and tells me about them. Off I go with Maggie and collect more goodies for the cow.

Lorraine and Tim

Somehow they seem to be attracting recycling containers since they met me. Note: This is not a virus. It's more that your eyes are opened. Plus given their location, near the bars on Broadway, they receive unsolicited donations on their front lawn from time to time.

FullCircleSaskatoon Members Come Through

Vonni, Kristine, Chelsea and Barb - thanks for the emails of support and bottles. What's so neat is that before I can reply now, someone often tells the person posting about "Don't Have a Cow, Give a Cow Instead".

Frank and Diane Winter Help Out Station 20 West

Just love that money in the mail. Thanks Frank and Diane.

Kate and Murray

Wow - more bottles and cans plus Murray posted a little graphic on his blog, Silent Servants... life from the point of view of a secular Franciscan, that links to Giving Small with a cow pic of course. I feel the blog is becoming real - like the Velveteen Rabbit (love the cover pics and illustrations, and the story).

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Friday, August 8, 2008

* Jack Doesn't Just Grow Beans

Kitty and Jack with the van full of bottles
Kitty and Jack moo'ing in front of a van full of recycling goodies.

Thanks to Lorraine's "Laughing Cow Virus", two co-workers of her co-workers at Saskatoon Public Library were happy to help to give a cow. (We already knew those folks at SPL were great folks.) One would who would prefer to remain anonymous (that's all good) and Kitti with her sidekick Jack.

Kitti and Jack contributed almost a 1/3 of a cow -- $95.75. Moo-valouos .. definitely have to do a happy cow dance with this one and have said that they will continue to collect. Even more moo-valuous.

By the way no one is safe from the Laughing Cow virus as it passes by word of mouth. As Kitty's neighbor arrived home, we told her what we were up to and a few minutes later she popped out to give us a bag of bottles too. Somehow she wasn't excited by the photo op with a van full of bottles but I did offer her chance for internet fame. :-). Thanks Kitty's neighbor.

One of the great things about this cow project is that it's a chance to meet so many wonderful people who do want to make difference in the world.

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* The "Laughing Cow" Virus Spreads to More Folks

Laughing Cow virus
Laughing Cow Virus in the wild

Lorraine Salt definitely gets 5 cow stars 5 for spreading the word to her co-workers at the Saskatoon Public Library and finding two more cow donors. So far, the Laughing Cow virus seems to be spreading by "word of mouth". Thanks Lorraine ... it's moo-rific when someone helps to spread the herd, oops, word.

I have heard of some other interesting effects of the Laughing Cow Virus. If you are experiencing other effects, please leave a comment.

For example, several (yes I mean several) cow supporters have reported that they notice cans and bottles out on their walks and think .. oh look there's a baby cow, or oh no, I'm having a "Darlene moment"! Some even pick these up (hurrah for the neighborhood and the cow) and cart them home. These same supporters go to great lengths to explain that they have NOT consumed these particular beverages as they hand over the assortment of alcoholic containers. Of course, I profess to believe them. I'd never drink some of that stuff either.

One of the great things about this cow project is that it's a chance to meet so many wonderful people who do want to make difference in the world.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

* Delicious 'Cow Pies'

saskatoon berry bushes covered with netting

Saskatoon berries in pans ready to cook

Saskatoon berry pie

One thing you learn quickly as a farm girl is cow pies in the field. Not all "cow" pies should be avoided at all costs. There are, however, exceptions to the rule -- special Saskatoon 'cow pies'.

It all started with an abundance of Saskatoon berry bushes growing in my yard. Mix in a dash of Neil Richards who was munching on a slice of pie and said "You should sell these the market to raise money for the cow. They're good." I replied, "it's not worth it for what you can charge." At this point Neil raised the stakes and won the hand -- he said he'd pay $12 or $14 for one. I said sold - he could have a pie for the cow $12. Craig Harkema said he'd take one too. Jane Lamothe and Doug MacDonald also took a pie and my friend Marie Green.

4 "cow" pies = $48 towards Clarabelle

Notice: No cows were harmed in the making of these pies in any way.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

* Time for Some Cowbell - 25 People Voted

Thanks for the ideas, votes and feedback on the polls.

Pie chart showing results of name the cow poll

Clarabelle inched out Oreo as the popular choice for the cow #4.

Three people chose other and suggested these names:
  • Spot
  • Eshe - means "life" in Swahili (or: Adia - gift)
  • Moo

Local Cause

Pie chart showing results of Station 20 with 52% of the vote

Station 20 West garnered 52% of the vote with the other causes receiving tied for 2nd.

Opening the Cow Kimono

Pie chart showing results showing support for telling folks about the cow project

80% of you voted for "Sure, why not" so stay tuned for this to show up on Facebook, Twitter and my FriendFeed.

Stay tuned for news about a 2nd match for Station 20 West