My fruit roll-up changing the world*

Remember when I wrote about getting out an actually doing stuff as an activist?  Needless to say, it makes me smile huge when I read about people actually going out and applying elbow grease toward making a better world.

It makes me smile even bigger when it’s somebody I love.

Today I left with 9 other students in 2 vans from Lawrence, KS and we made it all the way to Huntsville, AL. The trip took about 12 hours, and we left at 4am, so we’re all pretty worn out.  This evening we’re sleeping at the Wesley center of the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville. We will hit the road again in the wee hours of the morning to reach Florida by 4pm tomorrow.

As soon as we hit Kissimmee, we’ll begin working with the kids at Give Kids the World at 6pm.

It’s almost invisible work.  It lacks the thanks of crowds, but it provides other rewards.

Today I was scheduled to work a pool party with 6 other students in our group, but with it being Florida, a storm came out of nowhere, so we were moved inside.  It was a hula themed party, so I handed out leis and danced with kids. It was awesome. I stuck by one little girl a lot of the time while dancing. She was awesome, not to mention adorable. She was one of the wish kids, and I’m not positive on her age, but she didn’t even come up to my hips in height. We did the hokey pokey and the chicken dance. During the chicken dance, I was her partner and during the time when you link arms and go in circles around each other, she would grab my arm  in any direction and take us in circles even is we were facing the same direction. The best part about the whole night was the smile on her face. And when her mom and (I believe) grandma joined us and started dancing, there was no embarrassment on their faces while dancing like chickens, they were there to have fun and enjoy their time with this girl. It was beautiful. I wish I could describe the joy on their faces.

Michaelyn will be blogging the week-long experience.  I’m proud of her.  If you are too, swing over and give her accolades.

*  We decided the terms “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” were silly, so we went with “fruit roll-up” and “cheesecake”.  Yeah, I know.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Andrew T

    You two are so disgustingly adorable. It warms the cockles of my bitter, bitter heart.

  • doctorburger


    You owe me a new laptop, due to my existing one now has rainbow vomit and unicorn shit all over it.

  • Kaoru Negisa

    That’s amazing. As an Orlando resident and somebody who’s done a lot of work at GKTW, it’s great to see other people volunteering there. I remember when I was in a jazz band and we did a gig there for the kids. They and their parents absolutely loved it, and I don’t think I remember kids more grateful to hear a bunch of people play music for them. Michaelyn is going to have a blast, and I hope she has as many wonderful, touching, and inspirational moments as can be packed into a week.

  • benblanchard

    I don’t think I have ever heard of cuter names than fruit roll-up and cheesecake…. you sir and madame, have warmed my cold, godless heart….

  • Amyc

    You just made me think of a cheesecake-flavored fruit roll-up, which sounds awesome.

    • Michaelyn

      mmmmm…strawberry cheesecake flavored!