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Give Thanks, Get Rewards

I’m on a new health kick. It’s good for the brain, the heart, and better than Atkins, it’s even good for others. You don’t have to join or buy anything. You don’t even have to get weighed on national TV. Know what it is? Here’s what it not. It’s not flax oil, organic chicken, kava kava, or even red wine, though if you know where you can get those things without having to buy them, please do let me know.

My new balm: thank you notes -- the ones that go beyond Emily Post. I’ve always sent them for birthday gifts and dinner invitations, and my daughter scribbles them too, but now we’ve added new thanks to spend our 44 cents on. We’ve started sending cards to people who do neat things for our community

Selfishly, I want their organizations to hold these events again or more like them.

Things I’ve written letters for include:

1. The Miami-Dade Public Library’s 9th annual Art of Storytelling (AOS) International Festival . This event was amazing. My plan to stay for 2 hours turned into all day. They had so many shows, craft projects, and cool things to do. My daughter saw a puppet show with 9 foot high puppets, played in a drum circle and saw the Kehewin Native Dance Theatre (my favorite) tell stories with elaborate costumes, and a juggler on a unicycle who she imitated all week by throwing things up in the air. We even got a few pens and a bag. And it was all free!

2. International Museum Day: Family Fun at the Bass Museum. They had art workshops like “Build an Art Museum” and make a Picasso face. They also had free popcorn and icees. Everything to keep a 2 year old busy for a few hours. It was free and we got to tour the museum for free. My child had the opportunity to touch $80,000,000 in art, free! Usually it would have cost us $8 without the popcorn.

3. Kudos for our favorite Miami Children’s Museum artist-in-residence, Guillermo. We want him to stay on forever!

Now how would the Library or the museum otherwise know that we love these people and things? They wouldn’t — which is exactly why we write the letters. If you just come, and go home, and say nothing, for all these places know you could have hated their events. Silence doesn’t equal approval.

Then what? Then they won’t hold them again. And then all you’ll have to do on weekends is go to the park, the mall, or watch yet another Spongebob/ High School Musical marathon. Look at it from these organizations point of view; it’s much easier not to have an event than to have one.

Your letter or email and time for a spectacular day of entertainment. I argue that it is an even exchange for the zillions of hours these places spent in putting these events together and for the money they spent. I’ve written grant proposals, and let me tell you, just that piece is a long one.

So please join me in saying thank you.

Thank you.

P.S. if you get a chance check out my sister' blog at