Tuesday, March 23, 2010

63rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Robert and Sarah Understand
Now and again, I see Robert on his bike trailing a small, fully meshed baby coach. The baby–in a rather large, cockeyed helmet—peeks out through the webbing. Today was different because I drove Maen’s new Jeep Liberty that I borrowed to complete my rounds. The Cabriolet’s ignition is acting up mostly because it is 22-years-old and needs to retire.

From my perch high up in the Jeep I waved as Robert and baby hoping they would recognize me. Robert waved when we passed just up the block from his home. I had stopped at Robert’s house earlier but no one was home. They were out peddling in the sunshine I just learned.

After stopping by the last two houses on Miles, I turned around to head back to Warren. At the corner of Miles and Warren I saw Robert again on his bike but no baby coach. He flagged me down.

Not being that familiar with the electrical window buttons in the Jeep, I opened and closed every window in succession going around the car until I finally lowered the passenger side window. Robert had a big smile on his face from watching my antics. He told me he just got his tax refund and he and his wife Sarah wanted to share some of it with the Community Food Bank. The check he handed me was quite impressive. I thanked him very much. “Are you sure?” I asked. He was sure and said, “What the heck, it’s government money anyway.”

I burst out laughing and waved good-bye. As I turned left onto Warren, I thought about what Robert had said and realized he was right. Money is only a function of the system. One day when folks exhibit more concern for their troubled brothers and sisters than the money in their bank accounts, it will be the dawning of a very beautiful world indeed. The good thing is Robert and Sarah and most of our Miles neighbors are helping us create that world right now.

Change Vehicles Are Blossoming Everywhere
To make effective changes in our society we have to look to ourselves. Many of you may have read about the terrible 16-hour flight from LA to New York. David Martin, the CEO of the visual update social network Kontain.com http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10468908-71.html kept the world posted in real time on the awful conditions onboard the airplane stuck on the tarmac for 7 hours. The upshot was the airlines apologized for the mess, refunded the fare and added a $100 gift certificate. Also, the CEO of the airlines called David Martin personally and discussed the deal before releasing it to the public.

Just the other day, I discovered a new organization and related web site founded by Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/03/hughes-facebook-obama-.html It is called Jumo.com and its mission is to help the world work “Together in Concert,” (The phrase is a direct translation of Jumo, taken from Yoruba, a West African language.)

To quote the intro copy on the Jumo.com web site: “There are no magic solutions to the challenges our world faces. But there are millions of people around the globe who work each day to improve the lives of others. Unfortunately, there are millions more who don’t know how to meaningfully help.

“Jumo brings together everyday individuals and organizations to speed the pace of global change. We connect people to the issues, organizations, and individuals relevant to them to foster lasting relationships and meaningful action.” http://www.jumo.com/index.php

My thinking is that through technology we the people can be the people making the decisions on hunger, medical care and education. Together and almost instantanously we can come together, show our strength and influence others to get thing done or get out of the way. The imagery I see is not unlike a beautiful flock of birds flawlessly swooping this way and that way in formation through the sky. We, too as humans, have the technology to come together, protect each other and accomplish amazing things. Yes, we can!

POS (Point of Sale) is what most people know when they see signs or displays on the grocery shelves. However, since we are talking about One Can A Week, it’s more like POD or Point of Donation signage. Just this past week the folks at the Rincon Market put up shelf stickers encouraging their customers to think about the Community Food Bank when they shop. They covered cereal, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit and soy sauce. Next week they will add shelf signs to the canned tuna fish and peanut butter. Someday these POD stickers may be on the shelves of all the supermarkets in the country. It’s possible, you know. After all, we just got health care insurance for millions upon millions of families across American.

Need a Bigger Cabriolet
Even with the top down, the Cabriolet looked stuffed to the gills. The little car can take the weight but the volume is beginning to spill out over the sides and back. Have to keep the windows rolled up to make sure nothing falls out.

Our collection this week totaled 368 lbs. There was 162 lbs. of food—our weekly average–and 186 lbs. of produce in addition to 20 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart. On top of that, we donated $211.60 in cash and checks. A super fine week to say the least.

See you Sunday,


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