Tonight when I went to Home Depot to get some more glue for the canoe, I spoke with a manager about getting some free paint for our project. He said I’d have to send them a letter on our organization’s letterhead, include our tax id number, and include a list of what we needed and what we would use it for. Then they would evaluate the merit of our request and put it in their queue.

Um… no thanks. We need this kind of right away.

When I got home I checked Craigslist and found that someone in Kensington is giving away something like seven gallons of free paint (various colors). I sent her this email:

I’d very much like your free paint, and I think I could possibly convince you that I could put it to the most interesting use.

I am the director of a Pathfinder Club, which is a scouting organization for kids aged 10 and up. We are in the process of building a cardboard boat which we will race (with kids paddling it) in Maine on the first weekend in May.

If you let us have the paint, I can promise to send you pictures of the boat in the competition.

Our approach to building our boat has been to cover a real canoe with several layers of cardboard, which we have glued together. This evening we took it off the real canoe, and it is holding its shape beautifully. We are now in the process of glueing drywall tape to the outside, covering the entire boat with it. Once that dries, we will be ready for paint.

This canoe is about 15 feet long and 30″ wide. I’d be happy to make a trip to Kensington to get the paint.

She got back to me right away:

Hello Mr. Thomas, I am all about supporting kids, charity’s ,fund raisers, and just plain hands on fun for kids. You are the lucky owner of all this paint :):) I had 15 e-mails in a half hour for this paint :):) If you wish to call, my number is 603-xxx-abcd I think you know that most of it is water based. Terrie

So… score! I called her up and made arrangements to drive to Kensington tomorrow after work to pick it up.