Tuesday, January 19, 2010

54th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

 Hi Folks,

Swapping Stories
Saturday afternoon I decided to do some cleanup in the shared yard between my guest house and the “big house” as I call it. The moment I opened my gate to the yard, the back door to the house opened and out popped Terry my friend and landlord. He and Beth, his wife, had the same idea. Since the previous renters had vacated a few weeks earlier they decided to stop by to spiff up the house a bit before they showed it to a potential renter later in the day.

If you remember, Beth also collects for One Can A Week in her neighborhood out on Tanque Verde. In between raking Palo Verde needles and picking up the feral cat poop — not too delicate but I still love those little critters whom I feed and fix—I told Beth about the terrific news I just got from Susie Carrier. She collects every other week in her Ironwood Ridge neighborhood. To date they have donated 628 lbs of food and $130.

Beth, who is always considerate about keeping the conversation going said her neighbor Jorge, a doctor really admires the Community Food Bank. He mentioned a time when he was caring for striking miners and they were running out of food. The food bank came in and saved the day. He would never forget what they did and gave Beth $100 in addition to his weekly food donation.

Terry obviously was a little taken aback by the low key tenor of her story. “Do you know who Jorge is?” he asked us incredulously. He’s the folk hero doctor Jorge O’Leary, who along with his wife, helped the miners through that terrible Morenci strike in the early 1980s.” Both Beth and I were surprised by Terry’s energetic response probably because we had no knowledge of the event.

Don’t You Just Love the Internet
The next day Beth sent me a link to the story on her neighbor Dr. Jorge O’Leary and his wife Anna Marie O’Leary. The Abstract in the Arizona State University archive is rather matter of fact about the difference Dr. and Mrs. O’Leary made.

“The ANNA AND JORGE O'LEARY PAPERS consist of correspondence, printed matter, and miscellaneous items relating to the Phelps Dodge copper strike of 1983-1986. The collection extends from 1981-1987.”

Told you it was a bit understated. You have to read the full “Historical Note” to see why Terry was so impressed with what Dr. O’Leary and his wife did for those desperate miners.

Here is the link to the story which also involved prominent folks like Cesar Chavez, Bruce Springsteen and Edward Asner. http://knet.asu.edu/archives/?getObject=asulib:118176#id2358518

My take away from this powerful saga is that doing important and selfless things and being very humble about it—like Dr. and Mrs. O’Leary and too, the Community Food Bank—is what makes life on this planet so worthwhile.

Going Bananas
Upon returning from church on Sunday, Barbara Farragut on 12th Street stopped by the Circle K to pick up a few things when she noticed the store manager preparing to pitch a whole bunch of bananas. He said that every Sunday he tosses the leftover bananas in preparation for Monday’s delivery of fresh bananas.

Barbara saw that one box looked perfectly good (see photo) while the other three contained bananas any self respecting chimpanzee would have refused. However, always the planner, Barbara asked if she could have them all and helped the manager put four 50 lb. boxes in her car. She also said she would be back next week to collect the bananas he had not sold during the week. Because of Barbara’s keen eye—she calls it nosiness—we collected 220 lbs. of food in addition to $28 in cash this week.

SunnyD Donation Deal
Maen at the Axis Food Mart told me last week that he got a terrific deal on 100 cases of SunnyD fruit drink. So good in fact he will keep 50 cases for himself and donate the rest to the Community Food Bank. There are 25 cases in the two shopping carts in addition to the food his customers donated last week for a grand total of 370 lbs. With such generosity I think I’m gong to need a bigger car.

Our Miles Neighborhood total this week amounted to 590 lbs. of food plus the $28. Wonderful week!

See you Sunday,


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