Monday, August 10, 2009

31st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

More Tucson Rotary Club News
Five minutes after the Friday morning Kino Rotary Club meeting ended I picked up their donations and had a conversation with a member who is also a teacher. She is on her school district’s board and she wanted to get copies of the One Can A Week collateral materials. She said she was going to present the Community Food Bank donation idea to her board Monday night. I told her the instructions for setting up a One Can A Week program is posted on our blog and she can just print them out from there. Hope all goes well for her.

(You can check out the One Can A Week instructions yourself. Click on the image of the collateral materials in the upper right hand corner.)

On Thursday, just one day after my presentation to her club, Suzanne from the Old Pueblo Rotary Club sent me an email. “I will organize my neighborhood during this week,” she wrote, “and encourage members of Old Pueblo to get started also.” With energy like that there is no doubt we will end hunger here in Tucson...soon.

Food Can Always Get Into the Conversation
Since working on One Can A Week I have discovered that nearly everything can transitions to a conversation about food. For example: “What do you think about that banana yellow house? By the way, have I told you about One Can A Week?” See, it just has to make a little sense.

All last week I helped my friends John and Heidi—who were out of town on vacation—walk their spunky and beautiful Golden Retrievers at night. They had a very conscientious, live-in pet sitter but she is getting over a knee operation and needed a little extra help. One thing led to another in our nightly conversations and I told her about our One Can A Week project. The night before my dog walking adventure was to end, I opened the door to the house and nearly stumbled over a line of yellow, stuffed to the breaking point, plastic shopping bags.

Bonnie is the sitter’s name and she said she really believes in helping the Community Food Bank. She also wanted to help me as well for taking on one of her major pet sitting responsibilities. If Bonnie didn’t carry a few of the bags to my car, it would have taken me two trips to load them all. On the way home I realized that just informing folks about what I am doing can encourage them to spontaneously help now and then. This is probably good advice for all of us in the Miles neighborhood. Tell those new people you happen to meet on occasion about your participation in our One Can A Week donation program. Then perhaps, you too, can almost stumble over food stacked up by the front door.

They’re Watching Even at 6 AM
This past Sunday morning right after the rooster crowed, Impact with Rebecca Taylor aired. I got up to cheer Pauline Hechler and Barbara Farragut on even though I knew how it turned out. I also studied my performance and only said, “Oh, no” a couple of times so it wasn’t so bad. Of course I went back to bed and when I finally got up to have breakfast, I had one email message and one phone message. Both were viewers and both wanted the One Can A Week collateral materials I mentioned on the show. The gentleman who emailed said he was from Dove Mountain and wants to help the Marana Food Bank because it’s struggling. Not only are they watching TV in the early a.m.; they also want to make a difference. Pauline, Barbara and I can’t wait to reach out again.

Our Basket Runneth Over
A few more food donations and I would have had to use another cart. We collected 194 lbs. of food, 2 lbs. of none food items and $10.00 in cash. The key is to tell everyone you meet about our One Can A Week Community Food Donation program and many people may surprise you with food you can add to your donation. This happens to me a lot because I can't keep quiet about One Can A Week. And too, they may just turn around and start a One Can A Week program in their neighborhood. Wouldn’t that be great!

Letter from the Ward 2 Council Office
Rodney Glassman called Pauline Hechler after her article ran in the Arizona Star and asked for my phone number. He knows Pauline because his foundation pays for the Children’s Calendar the Community Food Bank publishes annually. I got a call a few days later asking for my address and then I got a letter a few days after that from Mr. Glassman. The gist of his letter is captured in these two sentences. “I hope that neighborhood leaders across the community will take your lead. An idea like yours (ours) can really change the future of our community.” We have the same hope, Mr. Glassman and thanks for your kind words.

See you Sunday.


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