Saturday, November 01, 2008

From for the Jamaican Bound-

This week's "Voice of Dog" which you can get in your email (just go to and sign up!) includes the following message-

A Chance to Serve in Jamaica (along with the beach and rum drinks]...

Before the next scheduled issue of Voice of Dog will come one of those uniquely American holidays - namely, the shopping orgy that comes the day after Thanksgiving.

If you're among those lucky folk who're planning on going to Jamaica, we'd like to pull your coat to an idea. It's great to be able to take a few days off from winter - hey, the band's looking forward to it, too - but it'd also be great to do something very, very sweet along with it.

And have we got an idea for you. The folks at Deep Blue Ripple International have been gathering school and other supplies for the kids of Jamaica for years - they've worked with people we know well, and they're solid.

So here's what you do. When you start your Christmas shopping, how about you buy an extra kid's backpack, - or two - or what you can afford - everything helps. Then stuff them with school and art supplies and books - and lots of other stuff. Then you bring them with you to Jamaica and we'll make sure they get to the right folks.

Good stuff: Pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, lined paper, solar calculators, non-toxic glue, spiral notebooks, folders, index cards, math flash cards - hey, all the stuff that almost all of us grew up with just isn't easily accessible in Jamaica. Let's help.

Art supplies: crayons, watercolor paints and brushes, sparkle glue, construction paper, beads and beading supplies. (non toxic, please!)

Music supplies: harmonicas, hand drums, shakers, recorders, band instruments if you can come up with them.

Books: We're thinking books like dictionaries, Caribbean or African or African-American fiction for young adults, music instruction books, art instruction books, computer science stuff, elementary spelling and math - check out the list.

Play equipment: soccer balls, jump ropes, hacky sacks, chalk for hopscotch. And personal stuff - reading glasses, slippers, canes, soap.

Celebration, which is what a RatDog show is about, is a basic human need. No need to feel guilty about that. But combining it with being conscious of how lucky we are to be able to do that - and carrying along some backpacks full of good vibes. that's an even better thing.