Shire Sharing

Shire Sharing is a collaborative effort among liberty activists to address social ills through voluntary action and private charity. We raise funds, collect goods, coordinate deliveries and connect with our community.

It’s Happening!

October 5th, 2014

Hey Shire Sharers!
ron paul its happening


 It’s been a whole year – can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday that I was standing outside the delivery bus fumbling Elizabeth’s gloves onto my nearly-frostbitten fingers. Here’s hoping for better delivery weather this year! Are you excited?
I have set up the donation portal for this year’s event. Click here to donate. Bitcoin is also accepted: 1CBr5J9vPMVzf5S22vdMUXkcLw8p4w7JgU
If you want to donate gold, silver, food, or anything else, please email me at shiresharing@gmail.com.

 

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What is Shire Sharing?

In short, it is the active implementation of our shared voluntaryist values. We want to provide Thanksgiving meals to as many needy NH families as possible, through entirely voluntary means.

I moved to NH in 2009 to participate in the Free State Project. Growing up in Dallas, my dad always dragged me along to a super special pet project of his: the Basket Brigade. Every Thanksgiving, he and his friends got together and spent their own money to provide holiday meals to needy families. In his first year he gave to only one family. In 2011 he died unexpectedly from cancer; by then he had been giving to hundreds of families every Thanksgiving. After his passing, I decided to honor his memory by organizing the same thing here in New Hampshire. What has made this project a reality is that people who cherish liberty understand the immense value of privately-funded, voluntary charity.
Shire Sharing has grown by leaps and bounds. When I first put my idea out there, I had no idea what I could expect. To my shock, in our first year over $1,000 was donated to this cause and we delivered food to 52 families. In 2012, the second year, word spread (and our community continues to grow), and we brought holiday cheer to a whopping 196 families – over 600 individuals in total. Then in 2013 we fed 373 families. Absolutely stunning.
So, how do we do it?
First, we raise funds. You can help by telling friends, family, coworkers, or your Facebook network. Share the link to our website (ShireSharing.org) or our YouCaring fundraiser page. We take donations in the form of credit card, cash, check, Bitcoin, gold, silver, and of course actual food donations. Inside look at the baskets.
Next, we shop. We buy all the fixings for a traditional turkey dinner, right down to the frozen turkey, pan, foil, and we even include the cooking instructions, just in case. We buy all this food in bulk, using wholesalers, coupons, etc. We try to feed as many people as possible with the donations. You can help us by saving coupons and also by helping us shop. Join our Facebook group to get involved.
After that, we assemble the delivery bags. Each household is different- some have several children, some consist of a single elderly person. We personalize each bag according to family size and diet needs such as diabetes or vegetarianism. For the elderly households we provide a fully-cooked chicken instead of a turkey. This is a huge endeavor and we need all the volunteers we can get. You can find more details about this in the Facebook group.
Making Thanksgiving deliveries in a retirement home
The last step is: DELIVERY! This happens in a number of ways: the bus, or your car. For the deliveries that are grouped close together, we use a U-Haul and caravan with a bus full of volunteers. You can ride the bus and participate in this way, or alternatively you can take on your own private route. In this case, you can take 10-20 bags of food in your own car and make these deliveries yourself (bring a loved one to share the experience with!). Again, if you’d like to do this, join our Facebook group.
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate abundance; in New Hampshire, we enjoy an abundance of liberty and, most importantly, love.
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Mission Accomplished!

November 28th, 2013

Season’s Greetings, Shire Sharers!

About 150 volunteers and nearly 100 individual donors teamed up over the last few months, lugging massive 50-lb bags of potatoes, overloading their personal vehicles with crates of canned veggies, knocking on door after door to deliver food to strangers. We’re finished. Overall, 373 families from Concord, Manchester, Grafton, Salem, and Nashua received meals; all in all this amounted to about 1,371 individual people from various backgrounds. Many were political refugees who’ve been thrown out of their home countries; all their personal belongings have been taken from them and they, our new neighbors, are starting their lives over in beautiful New Hampshire. We gave gifts to disabled people, elderly folks, single moms, and many other people of various creeds and backgrounds. Today, on Thanksgiving, I imagine their homes full of music, family, laughter, warmth, and the scent of holiday cooking. I still haven’t completely processed the value of what we accomplished together; I was looking through photos on Facebook of the Saturday bag-stuffing event and it was only just beginning to dawn on me just how many volunteers had shown up. Simply incredible. I think maybe 60 people had RSVP’d on the Facebook event, yet around 150 came to help. People were enthusiastic and full of energy throughout the weekend. People self-assigned work that needed to be done. When issues arose, handfuls of people stepped up to help. People keep giving me compliments, people keep thanking and congratulating me, but I want to acknowledge all the volunteers and donors. Thank you for sending your hard-earned money toward this project. Thank you for driving to the stores and loading up your cars with goods. Thank you for bringing them to Area 23 and thank you for unloading hundreds of pounds of potatoes, thousands of cans of veggies, mountains of fresh produce. Thank you for spending an entire Saturday organizing all this food so we could extended our resources efficiently and feed as many families as possible. Thank you for all the heavy lifting. Thank you for spending your time and gas to drive to hundreds of homes. Thank you for daring the freezing cold, the biting winds, to deliver on the day we promised to deliver, instead of staying in your warm homes. Not a single person bailed on the project despite the frostbite-inducing weather. Thank you for making your own private decision to do something that matters, and thank you for working together! This community is overflowing with intelligent, hard-working, reliable, committed and caring individuals. Stop congratulating me, and recognize that if it weren’t for you, this would never have happened. I look forward to next year.

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Big News!

November 14th, 2013

Preliminary numbers suggest that we’ll be bringing Thanksgiving to about 1,100 people this year.

A big jump from last year, which was about 650 people. The year prior, our first year, was about 200 people. So in just two years we’ve expanded to feed almost 6 times as many people.

Thank you.

“Man lives consciously for himself, but serves as an unconscious instrument for the achievement of historical, universally human goals. ”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Closing in on Thanksgiving!

November 11th, 2013

story-ferklempt-052511.jpgThe final pieces are being put together. We’re almost there. We have raised enough funds to feed 1,000 people this year. A monumental jump from last year, when we fed about 650 people. I’m verklempt.

On November 23rd at noon, we will be meeting at a new clubhouse called Area 23 (875 Page St., Manchester) to assemble the deliveries. This is a lot of work, and I’m grateful to the owners for inviting us to use their massive space. We totally outgrew last year’s space, evident in that we were wall-to-wall people and bags. Every delivery is different – you have your family of five, your single elderly folks, your diabetics and vegetarians. We aim to meet individual needs so that resources are not wasted. We buy the food in bulk, however, so it takes quite a lot of planning and many volunteer hours to get everything sorted and ready to be delivered. I expect we will be at Area 23 for about 5 hours; you’re welcome to come and go as it suits you. Every little bit helps. Due to our method of organizing, you will not be obligated to stay for any particular length of time. This should suit families with small children well, for example. Please note, this is a potluck event – I encourage everyone who comes to bring a food or drink or dessert to share. We need to keep our energy up!

On November 24th at 10 AM, we are reconvening at Area 23 to start making deliveries. Our first stop will be the Manchester Market Basket to pick up the pre-ordered perishables that they’ll be storing for us. From there we’ll split up and start making deliveries. Delivery happens in two ways:

  • We have a bus-and-U-Haul caravan that will be hitting the concentrated areas, specifically apartment complexes with dozens of recipients. In this way we can be quick and efficient.
  • Car routes are being developed that reach homes that are a little more spread apart; I generally split this up into 10-15 homes per vehicle, but drivers are free to do as many as they like.

You’re welcome to participate in either way; as of this posting, all the seats on the bus have been reserved. We have about 13 cars signed up to do the car routes and I’m hoping to get a total of 20 cars signed up. You can sign up by emailing me at ShireSharing@gmail.com or by commenting in the Facebook event for delivery. I recommend bringing along at least 1 partner; if you need help finding a partner, let me know. Note – if you ride the bus, be prepared for worst-case long hours. We will stop for bathroom breaks and food/drink as needed.

Paul Best in Nashua is organizing the Nashua-area liberty folks to do the deliveries meant for their town. He and his wife will be picking up the Nashua-area deliveries from Area 23 the night before and bringing them to Nashua; on delivery day, volunteers will drive Nashua car routes to make deliveries. The bus-and-U-Haul caravan is only going to Concord. You can do car routes with the Nashua folks, or do any of the others I’ll be making available. If you want to help specifically in Nashua, please contact Paul via their Facebook event.

peacefulassemblyIn other -SPECTACULAR- news: some folks up in Grafton were inspired to run their own little Shire Sharing this year. They’re all members of the beautiful Peaceful Assembly Church. They’re currently working to find families in need. I’m really happy and pleased with what they’re doing. It’s a really wonderful church and I recommend visiting them sometime soon. Check out their Facebook Group if you have questions or would like to donate to their Thanksgiving project. The first time I visited their church, I was pleasantly surprised to find Tolstoy mentioned in their church literature. He’s one of my favorite authors and is said to have inspired Ghandi.

As usual, our Facebook Group is where it’s at. This is where all our main communication goes down, so I encourage you to join it.

Thanks so very much to all donors and volunteers. People give me many congratulations for the success of Shire Sharing, but all I really do is make calls, fool around with social networking, try to update this dumb WordPress website, and make excel spreadsheets out the whazoo. As if it isn’t obvious, there’s simply no way this would happen if it weren’t for the hundreds of passionate liberty-oriented folks out there, donating their money and time. We have but one life to live, and you guys are giving little pieces of your lives to better your community. I think there’s nothing more noble. Okay, except maybe if there was a burning building, and you saved all the people inside, and the people were actually little puppies with big dewy eyes, and definitely a few litters of kittens hungry to nurse from their mama cat, and probably there’s ice cream. Save the ice cream.

Anyway, this is going to be AH-MAZING.

Shire Sharing Featured on the Katherine Albrecht Show

October 25th, 2013

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Nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Katherine Albrecht heard about Shire Sharing (thanks to former NH State Representative, activist, and author Jenn Coffey) and invited Amanda to be interviewed on her show! Listen to the archive here. Amanda’s interview starts 28 minutes into the first hour. Topics include how Shire Sharing first started, the Free State Project, turning tragedy into hope, and “tithing towards liberty”.

Shire Sharing Featured on Bitcoin Not Bombs

October 22nd, 2013

OccupyHoodie

 

MK Lords, of Bitcoin Not Bombs, interviewed Amanda Bouldin about Shire Sharing. Read the interview here.

Bitcoin Not Bombs is running an excellent campaign to “Hoodie the Homeless“. They’re using crowdfunding and the alternative currency Bitcoin to raise money to provide San Francisco homeless folks with warm hoodies for the winter. They’re accepting donations on their website. If you don’t know what Bitcoin is, check this video out.

 

Comedy Night Fundraiser Update!

October 17th, 2013

If you missed out, you really missed out.

What a night! Around 50 supporters attended and over $800 was raised. So many prize items were donated that we ended up splitting it into two prize packages. Congrats to Joe and Tom for their big wins!1376320_10202046158253717_1986549346_n

We had around a dozen professional comics on stage, most notably Matt D., the final act of the evening. Matt is gaining steam nationwide with his youthful yet totally dead-pan comedy. In 2012, Comedy Central named Matt one of 10 “Comics to Watch.”  Click here to check out his website and tour schedule. I feel honored that he took time out to work for free and help raise money for Shire Sharing. When you see him in an HBO comedy special one day, you can say, “Hey, I saw him live in Manchester, doing a fundraiser show for Shire Sharing…”

/comedycrush

Regarding the event: The comics were awesome, the crowd was awesome, everything was awesome except my follow-up blog post, which is braggy and boring. For Shire Sharing’s first-ever IRL (in real life) fundrasier event, I’d say it went swimmingly.

This fundraiser event was really just a usurping of what is normally the Wednesday night open-mic comedy show at Murphy’s. Every Wednesday, Nick David, a local comic, runs a little get-together called Laugh Free or Die. Any and all comedians are welcome to try their stuff on stage and the event is free to the public. Every night, Nick awards $50 to “the comic who made me laugh the most”, as he says. Especially for Shire Sharing, Nick instead booked bona fide professional comics and, to my surprise, awarded the $50 to Shire Sharing! Nick is a swell guy and the Manchester comedy scene would be pretty quiet without his efforts. Big thanks to Laugh Free or Die for supporting Shire Sharing! I feel super special now. Nick wants to do another fundraiser show next year – and you better believe I said yes!!
I want to extend my thanks to all the folks that attended the event. As usual, it would be nothing without the people who care.

Shire Sharing Featured on Girard at Large

October 16th, 2013

 

PictureAnother interview with Manchester talk show Girard at Large. Rich interviewed Amanda about the Comedy Show Fundraiser happening tonight at Murphy’s Taproom. Local comedian Jay Grove, one of the comedians slated to perform tonight, called in during the show. Listen to the archived interview here.

Peaceful Assembly Church Wants to Share in the Shire, too.

October 7th, 2013

The wonderful folks over at the Peaceful Assembly Church in Grafton, NH, contacted me about how they can start their own Shire Sharing project in the North Country. PAC is a small church in a small town with some big values. From their website:

Church

 
“Our mission is simply to foster Peace as prescribed by God, and, if you have a different word or way of describing our Creator or your higher Power, that’s OK. If you do not believe (or are not sure) there is one, that’s OK also. We still can learn from each other. We always want to share ways to better and more Peacefully interact with our neighbors. There is Peace inside each individual.”

 

If you’re interested in donating or volunteering with them, or would like to know more about this excellent church, check out their website and Facebook page. It’s a gorgeous church and I recommend paying them a visit at your earliest opportunity.

Comedy Night Fundraiser

September 27th, 2013

Please join your friends in liberty at a unique fundraiser for Shire Sharing: stand-up comedy!

October 16th, 9pm, at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester, NH.

No cover charge – totally free! Professional comedians from all over New England are coming to Murphy’s Taproom to entertain you for an evening and celebrate Shire Sharing. In a bizarre and disconcerting turn of events, Shire Sharing Foundress Amanda Bouldin will be on stage as well, trying her hand at stand-up. But don’t worry- all the other comics will be funny!

We will be raffling off an awesome prize package to raise funds for our Thanksgiving charity project. $5 per ticket, five tickets for $20. Enter as many times as you like.

All proceeds go to SS. No obligation to enter raffle.

Prize package will include:
-$100 gift card for Suns of Liberty Mint
-$50 gift card for personal massage at Shalon Da~Nai LMT in Manchester
-Complete Thanksgiving dinner delivered to your home
-A copy of the new calendar “Drag Queens and Covered Bridges of New Hampshire”
-Red Sox World Series commemorative Coca-Cola bottles
-Copies of the books “Terminator Planet: History of Drone Warfare” and “ComeHomeAmerica.US”, both donated by AntiWar.com, plus a bunch of AntiWar.com swag
-Complete CopBlock swag set: hat, hoodie (size large), and t-shirt (size small) donated by CopBlock in Keene
-$40 gift card for Stateless Sweets
…MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!

Raffle ticket sales begin at 9:00; winner announced at 10:30.

Event will be located in the private back room.

In 2011, Shire Sharing volunteers and donors worked together to provide about 200 impoverished NH residents with Thanksgiving dinner; in 2012 our reach expanded to over 650 people. This year I would like to feed 1,000 individuals. Can we do it??? Let’s try!

Giant thanks to Laugh Free or Die for supporting Shire Sharing!

All the details are on our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1415840731967618/


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