Networking events for IT professionals. Award winning blog series. Weekly podcast. Meet. Read. Listen. By @echodave, @bobwaltenspiel

IT In The D – Episode 48: Crossing the Streams, Operation Kid Equip and XICW Wrestling

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IT in the D, Episode 48.

Or “Season 2, Episode 4” for those paying attention.

If you’ve never listened to an episode of our show before, and if you never listen to another episode of our show again…the second segment of this one is all we can possibly ever ask that you check out.  It’s an eye opening conversation that’ll make you rethink your priorities.

It certainly had an impact on us…

mfe_oke_logoThis was probably one of the more disjointed, scattered episodes that we’ve had…but we’ll own it.  We knew it would be walking in the door, but it’s for a damned good cause – getting people aware of, and engaged with, Operation Kid Equip.

Our first segment was the usual round of introductions around the room, a few news topics that caught our eye like the Supreme Court decisions that killed off Aereo and requires police to get a warrant to search your phone…and how you should react to that if they try.  We talked about some new facial recognition software that Ford is planning for future vehicles, as well as how the FAA is now classifying some toys you or your kids have sitting around as “drones”.

Our second segment is where things got serious and really knocked us back in our chairs a bit.

Menachem from Operation Kid Equip joined us in-studio to talk about the various programs and services that they offer, and just exactly how many people are struggling to barely keep above the poverty line…or failing that struggle…and the impact that it has on the kids that their organization is dedicated to helping.

I can’t put a heavy enough emphasis on this – listen to this segment.  Like I said earlier, if you’ve never listened before, and if you never listen again…this segment is the one that we’re literally begging you to give a chance.  It doesn’t take much to help.  It’s not hard at all to get engaged.  It’s so easy to have a major, fundamental impact on a child’s life right here in the area.

schoolgirlAnd that’s the point we really want to stress – these aren’t kids in a commercial from some faraway land.  They’re right here.  In your neighborhoods.  And you don’t have to pony up thousands or hundreds of dollars.  Their newest program, Sponsor a Student, is looking for a few bucks.  Literally probably less than you blow on two drinks in a single night.  Buy a six-pack and use the difference from drinking in a bar and help these kids out.

This is a volunteer driven organization.  They’re not like a lot of places that are paying their CEO six figures and has a giant nest egg in the bank.

AND THEY’RE HELPING KIDS.

Look, we don’t get “preachy” all that often.  We don’t ask for damned near anything from anyone.  At all.  Ever.  …but last night’s conversation really kicked us in the ass and woke us up a bit as to some of the problems in the area and you can damned well expect that you’ll be hearing more about Operation Kid Equip from us in the future and us being more involved with them in the future.  Honestly, how many times have you ever heard / seen me speechless?

There you go.

10380590_577608039023598_5264163027167822608_oOne simple, easy way you can get involved and have a great time while doing it is to join us on Saturday night at the XICW DetroitBEST IN DETROIT: Border Wars” event that is a benefit event for Operation Kid Equip.  A portion of the ticket sales, as well as a 50/50 raffle and some other special events taking place that night will go to Operation Kid Equip.

And it’s live professional wrestling.  Big guys taking on big guys.  Not so big guys taking on other not so big guys.  Tag teams.  A cage match.  A ladies match.

Look, it’s no secret that Bob and I have gotten fairly heavily involved with this whole “wrestling” thing over the course of the past two years…and we’ve done so because we have a blast while we’re there.  It’s a perfect “turn off your brain and just enjoy” time.  And there’s a fully stocked bar…two of them, actually.  And you can get food.

AND IT’S TO HELP KIDS.

We’ll make you a deal – you come to this event on Saturday night, and you come find Bob or I.  We’ll buy you a drink.  We’ll figure out a way to get you sitting by us so we can chat, laugh and have a great time…while we’re all at an event that’s helping kids.

And it’s wrestling, which is a blast.  It’s some of the best professional wrestlers from here in the metro Detroit area taking on some of the best professional wrestlers from across the river in Canada.  Today is Canada Day.  Friday is Independence Day.  And so on Saturday you’ve got these two groups coming together for a phenomenal event (did we mention it’s to help kids?) with not just their own pride on the line…but National pride as well.

It’s going to be a blast, and if you don’t have a great time…well, at least we’ll have bought you a drink and you can tell us to our faces that we’re idiots.  We’re good with that…mostly because we don’t believe it’ll happen.

So go buy a ticket and be there: http://www.xicwdetroit.com/index.php/tickets/  on Saturday night.  VIP doors open at 6:30, General Admission ticket holders get in at 7pm, and yes, there’s a meet and greet, you can hang out, you can get photos, you can get autographs, or you can just sit with us and drink.

The Operation Kid Equip folks will also be on-hand taking donations, and not just cash.

Want to donate?  Do it the night of the event.  We’ll be taking cash donations for them, and they’ll be on-site with us every step of the way making sure that every dollar donated gets right to the programs most in need.

We also get it…cash is tight.  Don’t sweat it, there are other ways you can help out.

Take a look around the house, or over the course of the next few days as you’re out doing your own shopping, pick up an item or two from their “most needed” list of items.  They’re not huge, there’s nothing over the top.  Here’s the list of items that they are constantly most in need of:

  • Crayons (16- or 24-packs)
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Markers (washable)
  • Scissors (blunt-tip)
  • Rulers
  • Glue Sticks
  • Spiral Notebooks
  • Copy Paper
  • Erasers
  • Backpacks

Besides these core school supplies, you can also donate other new & gently-used items which are appropriate for school-aged children and their classrooms:

  • Snacks (non-perishable, not expired)
  • Hygiene items
  • Clothing & Winter Wear
  • Binders
  • Office Supplies

You know you have some of that stuff just laying around gathering dust in a closet somewhere.  Or that you can pick up a couple markers or erasers or something small to donate.  Bring that stuff to the event with you on Saturday, July 5th, and they’ll take it from there.

We defy you to read this story – http://operationkidequip.org/cant-afford-to-keep-me/ – and then look us straight in the eyes and tell us you can’t do something to help kids like this.

So watch this video to see a little bit about XICW (it’s 30 seconds long. watch it.)

…and then we’ll see you on Saturday night.

In our final segment, we doubled back some more with Menachem, we touched a little bit more on Saturday night, and we talked Facebook experiments with repeat offender and one of our always favorite guests, Billy Strawter of Social Coop Media.

– You can find us at http://www.ITintheD.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ITinTheD, on Meetup at http://www.meetup.com/ITintheD/, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/itinthed

– Social Coop Media can be found at http://socialcoopmedia.com/

– You can find XICW Detroit at http://www.xicwdetroit.com/

– Operation Kid Equip is at http://operationkidequip.org/

– Their story that seriously blew our collective mind is at http://operationkidequip.org/cant-afford-to-keep-me/

– The general donation page for Operation Kid Equip is at http://operationkidequip.org/donate/

– Their new Sponsor a Student program is at http://operationkidequip.org/donate/sponsor-student/

 

 

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