Monday, August 31, 2009

34th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks

Radio Now and Then
My second job out of college in the mid ‘60s was at KxOK AM Radio in St. Louis. It was real, “first time around” rock ‘n’ roll and they wouldn’t call those Beatles, Stones and Motown goodies Oldies for maybe another 25 years. So when Pauline Heckler, the Vice President of Development at the Community Food Bank contacted me Monday to ask me to join her at a recording session for a 96.1 KLPX-FM Sunday morning talk show I thought why not. We’re going to chat about the Community Food Bank and One Can A Week and it’s a rock ‘n’ roll station, albeit, Oldies.

Stephanie Fries, the host of Lifestyle Tucson (on the left) greeted Pauline and me in the lobby and walked us back through a bit of a maze to her recording studio. I know radio is now all digital but I was taken by the high tech black and gray starkness. From our studio, we could see the adjacent studio through a large plate glass window and it looked exactly like our studio. High stools and a counter not unlike the bar at the Red Lobster. Big foam microphone windscreens and computer monitors blocked a clear view of Stephanie and Pauline. The fellow in the other studio had no guests but he was just talking away into the mic and checking out his Blackberry now and again.

The radio studios I remember were big honking rooms with dozens of chairs and an engineer on the other side of the glass. Also, there was that large “On Air” sign that kept everyone on his or her toes. The possible mistakes made it all the more exciting because editing was a piece of scotch tape and a single edge razor blade. Stephanie got surprised by a cough that snuck up on her but that could be taken out is a second with a click of the mouse. These days the sound and editing are superior, I admit, but a small vase of flowers or a family photo on the bar would have been nice.

By Monday I heard from friends and a mother who listened in to our conversation on her way to the Farmer’s Market Sunday. She thought One Can A Week would be a terrific program for all of the moms in her home schooling group. Guess high tech black and gray starkness motivates the audience to act, too.

Miles Makes The New York Times and KOLD-TV in the Same Day
Right after I opened my email on Wednesday I noticed a message from River Cities Harvest, a perishable food rescue agency, in Ashland, KY. A few minutes later I got another email from another someone in Ashland. My thought was that somebody probably just wrote something about One Can A Week somewhere. Then my cell rang and it was Bud Foster from KOLD-TV. He asked me if I had seen the article in The New York Times titled “Volunteering Waning in Recession, Report Says.” I hadn’t but it answered my question about the two emails from Kentucky to whom I sent all of our collateral materials. And as it turned out, Sandy Scott’s office at the Corporation for National and Community Service put in a good word for us at The New York Times. Of course I thanked him for all of us and told him we would never let him down.

Bud wanted to come by and discuss the very positive statements he read about the Miles Neighborhood in an article that highlighted a disturbing national trend in volunteerism. We met at 11:30 am which gave me about 30 minutes to put the Cabriolet’s Sunday best on…umbrella, radio and shiny hood. The story also featured the Community Food Bank, the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona and the Junior League of Tucson. The good thing is Bud discovered that Tucson is not following the downward trend in volunteerism mentioned in The New York Times piece. (Click on Featured Video)

From the Few…Lots
The Casas Adobes Rotary Club meets at the La Paloma Country Club every Wednesday morning and although their membership is small, they certainly have big hearts. After my presentation on the 26th they loaded up my Taurus trunk with a whopping 172 lbs. of food donations in honor of the occasion. Wonder if they wouldn’t mind me making a presentation to their club every week?

Real Southern Charm
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Carol and Colin Reed in North Carolina who read about our Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week program in USA Today. Tonight, Sunday, Carol sent me an email and said, “Just wanted to update you on our version of One Can A Week. This is about 75 pounds which came from just two streets on one Sunday!!Thanks for the inspiration here in NC!!” Now Carol and Colin are our inspiration in North Carolina.

Julia Child Would Be Proud
The incredible variety of food my Miles neighbors donate never ceases to amaze me. A case in point, the very large and aromatic onions at the top of the basket. It is obvious everyone is thinking about the needy recipients of our Miles Neighborhood generosity because there is always a lot of pasta, essential proteins such as chicken, beef and tuna fish—lots and lots of tuna fish. Also, there are many varieties of beans, even some I would eat. In the beginning I was often asked, “What should I give?” My usual reply was protein, beans, some carbohydrates…whatever you think is good to eat. Seems all of my neighbors have figured it out and then they throw in a little bundle of onions just to surprise me. This week we collected 140 lbs of food, $19 in cash and 2 lbs. of produce. That’s the onions.

See you Sunday.


Monday, August 24, 2009

33rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks

A Little Help from a Little Neighbor
On Friday night Erin, my next door neighbor stopped me to ask if her 12-year-old son Bobby could help me with my One Can A Week food collections on Sunday. I said sure because I remembered how PJ, another 12-year-old neighbor did with his roller derby idea. We netted over 340 lbs of food on that one.

Of course, being 12, Bobby isn’t as familiar with punctuality as he will be later in life. After a minute or three wait, he jumped into the Cabriolet passenger seat and off we drove. He had just awakened so it took the first five pick ups to get the cobwebs out of his brain. Like the Tohono O'odham elders, I waited for Bobby to ask to do something before offering to give him a task to manage. This is a good teaching technique because the young are ready to learn when they demonstrate a willingness to participate.

Bobby collected the food on the porches and I placed the Thank You cards. Nice division of labor but I got the better half. Soon he was drinking more water and mopping his brow. The collections were good this Sunday and quite heavy. So right after meeting Barbara and Lenny and picking up their 12th Street collections we headed off to lunch at McDonald’s…my treat. After all we—or rather Bobby—had been working in the hot sun for nearly an hour.

Lucky Bobby
In 45 minutes we were back on the road—I’m the slow eater, not Bobby—and right after our first stop things…unusual things began to happen. A gentleman walked up to the Cabriolet and handed me a large can and said he and his family wanted to participate in the Miles Neighborhood donation program.

Unusual thing #2
For about three months now I have been trying to meet up with a neighbor on Warren Street who told me he wanted to participate one Saturday when I was collecting food at Safeway. But he was never home the three or four time I stopped by. Also, I have to admit I simply forgot to go to his house a number of times. I remembered this Sunday but only after I drove two blocks out of the way. We turned around and pulled up to the curb in front of his home which sits at least 50 feet from the chain link gate. Again, it looked like no one was home but Bobby and I walked down his long, flower pot lined sidewalk anyway and knocked on the door. It opened immediately and there was my neighbor food in hand. Amazing!

Unusual thing #3
The last leg of our route is down Vine Street toward Manlove Street. However, just before we get to Manlove we stop at two houses. One is the home of a lovely lady who always has food ready for us. The other is directly across the street and more often than not no one is home. This time a gentleman golfer—a fact announced by one of those small clever wooden signs hanging from the screen— answered the door. He told me it would be better if I stopped by on Saturday to get his donation because his family was seldom home on Sundays. That’s three new participants. I’m a little mystified.

Unusual thing #4
We’re back in the Cabriolet and as I start the car I see a man on the far side of the Arroyo Chico Apartment parking lot wave to us. He is standing with his wife in front of his apartment and the door behind him is partially ajar. We drive over and both Bobby and I greet the couple.

About an hour earlier I was telling Bobby that I only have one Arroyo Chico neighbor who participates in One Can A Week and I can’t figure out how to get others involved. I’ve spoken to the management and they put up a sign in the laundry room but there were no takers. Bobby said he has several friends who live there and he will gladly talk to them to see if he can do something. But now suddenly we have the across-the-parking-lot Summoners. Actually, these fine folks who got our attention are named Eric and Nicole. They want to help One Can A Week and will gladly canvas the whole apartment complex to get their neighbors involved in donating to the Community Food Bank and community service.

This certainly was another great Sunday.

Our Miles Neighborhood Average Isn’t So Average
In the first quarter our weekly average was 116 lbs. In the second quarter our weekly average came to 231 lbs. We have 8 weeks into the summer quarter where many people take vacations and our weekly average is still a very respectable 156 lbs. And that’s exactly the tally for this week plus $2.00 in cash.

Rotary Club Update
Both the Old Pueblo and Kino Rotary Clubs are now making weekly donations to the Community Food Bank and on Wednesday, I am talking to the Casas Adobes Rotary Club at the La Paloma Country Club. Only 19 more to go.

See you Sunday.


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 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.


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.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to Build Your Own Neighborhood Weekly Food Collection Program in 8 Easy-to-Follow Steps


Step One: Forget everything you know about food donation programs for your local community food bank.
One Can A Week is a weekly food donation “collection” program that requires you to visit your neighbors on Sunday between the hours of 11:30 am and 5 pm to collect food for the needy. When told this, many people think the idea is wonderful but they want their neighbors to drop the food off at their house or the local library. A few have even sent around flyers to their neighbors and got a little response but nothing happened beyond the second week. This is America and you can do anything you want. But if you are really looking to be successful with One Can A Week and want the respect and admiration of your neighbors, please go to Step Two. (Please click on photo to enlarge.)

Step Two: Think customer service.
Each one of your neighbors is your customer. You
ask them to participate in your personal community service program by donating a can of food each Sunday and in return, you promise to help them perform their community service by stopping by their homes to pick up their 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 neighbors are building your neighborhood back into a functioning, cohesive community.

Step Three: Read all of the collateral material and understand the purpose of each piece. To download each piece to your desktop or a specific file, click on the title Fact Sheet, etc., and/or the other document links at the end of Step Three.

Fact Sheet – This is a flyers that contains a brief explanation of your personal community service program and the need for food for the community food bank. It also lists contact information for both you and the community food bank.

Sign Up Sheet – It is best to just write down first names only, the house address and an email address if possible. People are somewhat resistant to giving out personal information so take as little as possible.

Thank You Card – Every time you pick up a donation you leave a Thank You card to tell you neighbor you were the one who took the can of food. Hand the Thank You card to your neighbor if he or she gives you the food personally. This activity creates a bond.

Sorry We Missed You Card – This card is left if there is no one home and there is no food on the porch. It is very important to leave this card because the next week you will probably receive twice the normal donation. Guilt is wonderful...sometimes and this is one of those times.

Photo ID – This demonstrates the transparency of the One Can A Week program because names, photos and phone numbers are on display. It helps create trust.

Business Card – As your program expands and you are willing to speak to other community groups about One Can A Week, you will need a business card.

Quarterly Report - Besides being your customers, your neighbors are your investors, too, and they want to see a return on their One Can A Week investment just as they expect to see a return on their financial investments. This report will help keep your neighbors committed to your personal community service project.

Download other documents or JPGs here: One Can A Week Instructions, One Can A Week Logo, One Can A Week Letterhead, Food Bank Photo, One Can A Week Poster, Table Sign, T-shirt decal.

Step Four: Customize your One Can A Week collateral material.
Open the Fact Sheet, Name Tag and Thank You and Sorry We Missed You cards Word documents and add your name and contact information. You can complete the Business Card later. (Name Tag lanyards are available at Office Max, Wal-Mart and Office Depot.) If you are not familiar with the Draw feature in Word, find someone who knows Word and he or she will be able to give you a quick lesson. Within a few minutes you will be able to make all of the changes easily.

Print 15 or so Fact Sheets on a color printer. The Fact Sheet is actually 8 ½” x 5 ½” and double sided. However, it is suggested you use a heavier, 8 ½” x 11” stock, say 28 lb. to print the document and cut it in half. Make sure when you print the second side, the paper is put back in the printer properly so the print will be right side up. Cut the printed pages in half.

Print 6 – 8 pages of the Thank You For Your Donation card. You can use scissors to cut up these cards or a small paper cutter. Since One Can A Week is a long term program it may be wise to invest in a paper cutter.

Print 4 – 5 pages of the Sorry I Missed You card. Use the paper cutter on these, too.

Print 1 sheet of the name tags on a coated photo paper and cut out the ID.

Print 2 copies of the Weekly Food Drive Sign Up Sheet form. Print more when needed. Also, a clipboard will come in handy when filling out this form on a neighbor’s porch.

Step Five: Call on your neighbors.
This is a slow growth program. Plan on visiting 10 or so new neighbors each Sunday. In other words, visit 10 the first Sunday. Visit those ten the next Sunday plus 10 new neighbors and so on. It may take you 8 or more Sundays to get around your whole neighborhood. If you are methodical in your approach to One Can A Week, you won’t burn out trying to do things all at once and your neighbors will be impress with how you are sticking to the program and that you are a person of your word.

On your first Sunday there is no need to be nervous because you should only call on neighbors you know best. They are going to be very receptive to your personal community service program.

Walk to the neighbor’s front door. Ring the bell or knock and then step back a few paces. This is especially important for neighbors you don’t know. With you standing far away from the door, they won’t hesitate to open it.

Tell them you are a neighbor and state your address. If you walk your dog in the neighborhood be sure to have a picture of your dog on your clipboard and tell your neighbor you are the one who walks this dog, pointing to the picture. In most cases they will recognize the dog and smile.

Now tell them you are collecting one can of food a week for the community food bank. It is your personal community service program and it is in response to the new administration’s call for more community service. Hand them the flyer and explain the process. They leave a minimum of one can a week on their porch which you will pick up. At the same time you will leave the Thank You card to tell them you are the one who took the can. Then ask, “Would you like to participate?” Do not use the word commit. That’s too strong.

Take their first name only and the house address. Tell them you are going to communicate with them weekly by email and you would like their email address if they don’t mind. You will get more email address after you pass out the first quarterly report on how much food the neighborhood donated.

Step Six: When the can is not on the porch.
Many neighbors will participate but they will forget to put out the can or they don’t feel like putting the can on the porch. Just knock on the door and say hello. Only a few will tell you that they haven’t gone to the market this week, etc. Be super friendly and say you will be back next Sunday. Most of the time they have food ready the next Sunday, because they don’t want to look bad in the eyes of a super friendly person who is trying to do some good.

Step Seven: Communicate…Communicate…Communicate.
There is only one reason you take the food directly to the Community Food Bank. You want an official weight on the food you’ve collected and you want to take a digital photo of the food in the basket or on the scale.

As stated above, besides being your customers, your neighbors are also your investors. They are donating one can a week and they want to know what happens to that can and how that can affects the One Can A Week program. The more they are kept in the loop the longer they will participate in One Can A Week.

The photos of the food will be used weekly in the emails to your neighbors in addition to the weekly collection tallies. It is suggested you visit and review weeks 1 – 7. Initially these posts start out as emails first and then are turned into blog copy. You can do the same.

Step Eight: The all-important quarterly report.
A template for the quarterly report will be provided to you. All you have to do is insert your own collection figures. Each quarter you should provide a printed copy of this report to each of your participating neighbors. They will appreciate receiving the report and learning how their investment in One Can A Week is performing. Also, this report is a very important communications tool for those who don’t have email.

One Can A Week is a very simple community service program that not only collects food for the needy but helps foster good citizenship and neighborhood involvement.

Have Fun and Good Luck!


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.