Every time I here someone complain about there not being anything to do in Fort Wayne it causes me to have a twitch in my brain that makes me want to throttle their head against the brick wall of the Old City Hall Museum on Barr Street. Now granted, most things in Fort Wayne seem to require exorbitant amounts of money in order to participate in. That is especially true, when one person is or a group of people are barely making it, while either going to college or just trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel on a day to day basis to survive.
Then I was thinking to myself most of my kids still have enough money to buy cigarettes every other day or so, and a good portion about a quarter of them have a pretty decent marijuana habit *shrugs shoulders and shakes head*; so if they if they have the money for that, then they should be able to redirect some of those funds for other endeavors and experiences within the community. Now of course that leaves the other three quarters of my kids and their peers who are just trying to get by moment by moment. If you are a student at I Paid For What, besides being treated to a thousand dollar Midget Elvis for March Madness a couple of years back, there are really some pretty fucking cool options available to you as a student in the way of discounts at local establishments and free tickets to certain events either on or off campus. I know one student was enrolled at the minimum full time credit hours for like twelve years just to receive those benefits, and to defer his tuition for a lifetime. But that doesn't begin to cover those, and there are a lot, who haven't had the opportunity or who failed there first attempt at college and haven't gone back yet for whatever reason.
So I propose a plan to City Council (hat tip towards Mitch Harper) and whoever else might be reading this blog entry. Let's start as a system based on volunteer work in the area, a Cultural Studies Credit:
Let's start by organizing both youth and young adults ranging in age from 16-21 and 21-26. The basic premises is that when they volunteer a certain amount of hours in the community, lets say ten (10) hours, one would receive a ten dollar credit (covers the cost of a movie, snack, and soda) which would either be distributed in a gift card or voucher system. They could then use them to see a movie at the Cinema Center, or gain entry into any of our beautiful museums, or go skinny dipping at Fox Island (*not legal but fun*). To beat the summer heat what if the volunteers could donate their time and then use some of their credits to get into the FW-AC Park Department's pools for free.
If they go over forty (40) hours in a month then should there also be an additional benefit awarded or their credited hours over forty should roll over to the next month. These are just some rough ideas that I am plotting out for a bigger action to make life better for my kids and kids all across this beautiful city we all love and call home.