Monday, August 3, 2009

30th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Kino Rotary Club Steps Up
A pleasant yet hurried conversation I had with Corina Baca a few months ago while collecting food at Safeway seems to have created a unique and separate new course for One Can A Week. Only recently did I fully understand what Corina was suggesting.

One Can A Week has three purposes: Collect food for the Community Food Bank, build neighborhood involvement in community service and create a new feeling of community for the neighbors in a neighborhood.

This is accomplished by treating each neighbor as a customer. You ask your neighbor to participate in your personal community service program by donating a can of food each Sunday and in return, you promise to help your neighbor perform a service to the community by stopping by his or her home to pick up a can each Sunday and deliver it to the Community Food Bank. It’s a fine bargain and everyone wins. The value added is you and your neighbor are building your neighborhood into a functioning, cohesive community.

Corina saw this and more. I suggested during my presentation at the Kino Rotary Club that each member go to his or her neighborhood and help build community service there. What I missed was the Kino Rotary Club is already a community. They wanted to collect the food donations at each meeting but were having a problem about delivering the food to the Community Food Bank and getting proper credit for their efforts.

Last Friday after the Kino Rotary Club meeting, Corina and I talked for a few minutes before she had to dash into a board meeting with Steven DiMuzio, the District Governor. On the drive back to my office, with their food collection box in my back seat, I finally realized that the “whole” Kino Rotary Club is actually just like “one” of my neighbors and all I have to do is deliver the food to the food bank to help them fulfill their community service.

I sent an email to both Debbie Haddock, the Kino Rotary Club president and Corina suggesting I help them with delivery to the Community Food Bank and record keeping of the official weights. In a return email Debbie agreed to her club’s participate. What a great day! And as an aside, I’d like to personally thank Corina for being the kind of person who doesn’t say No and stays involved until a Yes answer can be found.

Organizations Are Communities, Too
That was a teachable moment for me. Churches, chess clubs, Little League teams, and yes, even Rotary Clubs each qualifies as a community and they need their donations picked up just like any one of my neighbors. Yes, I was focusing on finding coordinators like myself to take up the challenge in other neighborhoods but I’m so glad I finally saw the incredible opportunities organizations like the Rotary Club make available to One Can A Week.

A Very Big First
On Monday the Kino Rotary Club donated their first box of One Can A Week food to the Community Food Bank. It weighed 46 lbs. thanks in large part to that monster 6 lb. 10 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. It was also the first One Can A Week donation by a Tucson Rotary Club. Thank you very much, Kino Rotary Club, for getting things started. (Click on photo above to see giant can.)

Meeting the District Governor
At the Kino Rotary Club breakfast meeting Friday Debbie Haddock and Corina Baca introduced me to Steven DiMuzio, the District Governor for the Rotary Club’s District 5500. He’s a very busy gentleman but was kind enough to give me 5 minutes to quickly explain One Can A Week. The upshot of the conversation was, send him some information via email—which I did—and he will discuss the project with his program people. Perfect!

Another Rotary Club Likes One Can A Week
Glenn Garrett invited me to speak to his Old Pueblo Rotary Club today. It was fun and entertaining—at least for me— but the members looked like they were having a good time, too. Shannon Marty, the president, asked me to speak right after the salad was served. As I got warmed up or a bit impassioned, as you might say, all eyes were attentive. They really liked the idea and will ask the community service committee members to study my proposal. After nearly everyone left the room, our waitress came up to me and asked for some literature and a business card. Two successes in the same room. Terrific.

Small Gestures That Mean a Lot
Half way through the collections Sunday, Lisa Marie a neighbor on Cherry Street drove up and asked me how she might participate. She was on the way to the store and wanted to know what to do. I told here and 25 minutes later cans were sitting on her porch.

Also, a neighbor on 12th Street didn’t hear my knock earlier but called me and was wondering if I could come back to get their donation. What a great way to collect 146 lbs. and $8.00. To me, it’s never boring to help people help people.

Just in Case 6 am Sunday is Too Early
Barbara Farragut is not in the scene because she took this photo of Pauline Hechler, vice president of the Community Food Bank (left) yours truly and Rebecca Taylor, KVOA News 4 moderator during the taping of Impact, a community service program. (Barbara is in the program a little later.) Impact airs next Sunday, August 9th at 6 am. This photo is also a community service because the airing of Impact is way too early for me and most folks but I thought you might want to see what the fuss was all about. This is just like the video but there’s no motion and no sound. In the next week or so I will get a copy of the program and place a link on our One Can A Week blog website. Then you can look at it at any hour you think reasonable.

See you Sunday.


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