Monday, August 17, 2009

32nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Even More Tucson Rotary Club News
On Wednesday, Pauline Hechler took me as her guest to her Tucson Rotary Club where I ran into an old business associate Charlie Dowd. As he shook my hand vigorously he said, “Hey, you are still alive.” Actually, I like “glad to see you” better, but that’s Charlie.

The main speaker for this occasion was Steven R. DiMuzio the District Governor. I heard him speak at the Kino Rotary Club two weeks earlier but I paid even more attention to his talk this time. Toward the end of his presentation he spoke about the declining membership in most of the service organizations in America including Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists and Rotary. This is sad because these very American organizations helped build America into the caring and philanthropic country we are today.

It Takes A Beautiful Village
Jack Steindler (on the right) was taken with the thought that we could end hunger here in Tucson if lots of people got involved with One Can A Week. He heard me say those words during my presentation to the Old Pueblo Rotary Club meeting August 3rd. Since that time Jack and his buddy and fellow Old Pueblo Rotary Club member, Bill Pearce have been talking to the powers to be in the new Villa Hermosa where they both live, a splendid retirement community on the corner of Speedway and Wilmot. We met last Thursday with Shannon Iggi, the Activities Coordinator, who saw right away how to initiate One Can A Week at Villa Hermosa. Shannon also said she was going to contact her friends in Colorado and “tell them to make One Can A Week happen there.” Villa Hermosa means beautiful village. After my meeting with Jack, Bill and Shannon I can also tell you it means “get it done.”

Sad Turns to Hope
The next day an idea popped into my mind and it had to do with my meeting with Jack Steindler and friends. What if every Rotarian who becomes involved with One Can A Week got permission and then put the Rotary Club logo on the One Can A Week collateral materials they hand out? This will turn into weekly exposure all over Tucson for the core values of the Rotary Club…ethics, honesty and integrity. These values are especially important to young people today who are just beginning their professional careers and should tweak and “twitter” their interest in a social organization doing so much good.

I sent Pauline an email about my idea and she wrote back, “I think that’s a very exciting idea, since all the Rotary clubs had a contest last year to see how many food bank donors they could muster and how much money they could raise."

OCAW to the 4th Power
One Can A Week's potential keeps on expanding. It started out as a program to collect food for the needy, and soon morphed into community service for a whole neighborhood. Then it showed the way to unite an entire community. Now, in association with the Rotary Clubs in Tucson, it could help bring a new generation of teachers, business people and professionals into an essential American service organization that helped change us, and in turn, helped change the world.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Every week since my Cabriolet went on the inactive list, folks have been asking me “when will that cute car be back in action?” It was getting
to me because I miss the little Cabriolet, too. On Monday as I was driving down Speedway in my Taurus heading for home, the J & L Complete Automotive sign just seemed to jump out at me.

I’ve driven by that automotive business hundreds of times in the past 5 years but this day was different. I stopped in to ask for a rough estimate on fixing the Cabriolet’s broker heater hose and thought it might be over $300. A heater hose? They thought that was too high. I told them why I needed my Cabriolet back and asked if the repair were closer to what I thought could I pay $150 and give a post dated check for the rest? (I said I don’t want any discount I just need a little time to take care of my bill. The truth is, I never ask for discounts out of respect for the small business owner. It is what it is; he or she is just trying to make a living.)

Almost immediately Lisa and Juan said yes and as it turned out the repair was tricky involving an out-of-production three spout hose and deep engine diving. I won the estimate guess but I also won two new neighbor friends who got my Cabriolet back on the road. This is a great world we live in, you just have to ask for help and the good folks will always step up. Then perhaps you can help them back by writing a story like this and telling everyone you know. It’s exactly how One Can a Week works…neighbors helping neighbors.

Small Favors Turn into Big Favors
Bill Roach my business partner on Top Tag Pet ID helps me out a lot so I do whatever I can to make his job and life easier. Mostly I drive around picking up and delivering things so he can stay in his office and in front of his computer. It’s important that a webmaster do that. Today I went to see Wes Baker, owner of Borderlands Trading Co. on 7th Street downtown to pick up some tile to be photographed. Wes is aware of my One Can A Week program because I have been Bill’s photography assistant when he shoots product at the store.

We’ve had a couple of lunches together and I know and respect where he stands on government intervention. So when Wes started a conversation on stimulus money for food banks—which I had not heard about—I put up caution signs all over my brain because Wes is Bill’s client and friend. Within seconds Wes found the information online using Bing. He said, “There it is, $150 million stimulus money for food banks.” Wes paused a second, “That’s a drop in the bucket. Will you take a check?” He quickly filled out a check and handed it to me. It was for $500.00. I think I said thank you too many times.

It’s obvious Wes is good at business. Both his Borderlands store and DirectFromMexico.com website are successful. It is also obvious Wes is good at heart, too.

This week we collected 166 lbs. of food and $515 in cash. Wonder what good things are going to happen next week?

See you Sunday.

Peter

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