A Kayaking Book, A Volunteer, and a Head Start

only kayak

There is something to be said about a mild winter while the rest of the country and much of the States are being ravaged by the real thing. Out here on the west coast the temperatures have remained in the high single digits or even sneaking into the doubles over the past couple of months. Only one snow day here on the island way back before Christmas when such events seem suitable to the season of joy, while if a flake lands in January it is considered an ill guest. The kayaking weather has been amazing, though my kayak is still in dry dock and I have not been on the water in 2014, however it, the weather that is has been windless and calm.

So fitting it was today as I hiked the short walk to the post box in a wind that cut me to the bones, sliced me and diced me and would have left me for dead if I had stayed out a moment longer. The sun betraying me in the sky giving the illusion of spring with an arctic twist. That twist was the book I had purchased from a seller on Ebay had arrived. The title, The Only Kayak, a Journey to the Heart of the Arctic by Kim Heacox.

This is a lovely book that is not only about kayaking, but about a lifetime spent, friends made and lost under the backdrop of Glacier Bay National Park in the Africa of America. The Only Kayak will remind the reader of Thoreau, or Edward Abbey and will be the subject of another post, indeed! For now, I was happy to run home to get out of the winds and tear open my package to which at first I had hesitated, knowing what it was. I was glad to eventually give in and pulled the book from the envelope. Though used it was in spiffy condition and now I can stop repeatedly drawing it from the local library. I noticed a slip of paper tucked midway in the pages and thinking it an invoice I pulled it out to find it was in fact a note from the seller.

A nice touch. I have done this myself for special one-of-a-kind pieces from my workshop. But for a used book it seemed odd until I read it. It goes as follows and at the bottom of this post I have placed the link to the Ebay page for those of you who might be interested in paying it forward as I am attempting to do here online today.

Dear Valued Customer:

Thank you so much for your purchase of a Kathy’s Miniatures item through eBay. Pay;ment has been received and your item/s are enclosed. Your business means a great deal to me.

Just a note to let you know how your dollars will be used. Arizona has a Back to School program for about 5,000 children each year that have been identified as disadvantaged through Head Start. Each July, families come to Phoenix to get a backpack filled with school supplies, new shoes, socks, and underwear, as well as a new outfit. I volunteer my time to sew for this program. As fabric, zippers, buttons, etc. are costly, I sew doll clothes from the remnants and sell them to finance the Back to School program. Fabrics are new; just not wasted from larger garments. Several items appear in the local paper telling of how the new clothes have helped these children’s self-esteem and ultimately, their success in school. 100% of the monies from Ebay sales go to this cause.


Recent statistics are as follows:

   2011   425 Complete outfits donated plus cash donations from purchased items.

   2012   660 Complete outfits donated plus cash donations from purchased items.

   2013   700 Complete outfits donated plus cash donations from purchased items.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and your help in making a child happy.


On this rather chilled evening with the threat of snowfall by the weekend (this is nothing new for the rest of the world but out here, especially this winter, it is shocking) it warms me up no end to know that I bought a book that I truly enjoy and inadvertently paid it forward to a kid who I will never meet. Perhaps, they will grow up, move north to Alaska to beat the Arizona heat and become a park ranger as the author of The Only Kayak had. Maybe, this kid will write his own book? One can only hope. Thanks Kathy, you made my day!



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