I first checked out Toastmasters after I gave a couple of presentations at work. When I was asked in 2010 to present at a managers meeting about how I had led my team in a fundraising campaign, I was nervous about standing up in front of two hundred of my peers. I wrote down some notes and thought about what I was going to say, but when I got up on the stage I simply rushed through my presentation. At the end, I cocked my head slightly to the left, smiled, and said, “And that’s what I did!” I knew I’d blown it, but of course my coworkers were nice to a fault. “Good job!” they said. This is Portland, and we all know how to do nice. I wanted to forget about the whole thing, and I vowed never to get anywhere near a stage or a microphone again.
Graffiti: spray-painted names and messages sprawled across business walls, dumpsters, electrical poles, and even on the sidewalk. In Eliot, the summer months bring graffiti. When not cleaned up, tagged walls encourage other taggers to stake their claim in our neighborhood.
Another successful neighborhood cleanup is history, and all the paperwork is (finally) completed. In all, we removed nearly nine tons of debris from the neighborhood, and added about $500 to our coffers.
As always, many people came together to make this possible.