Tuesday, April 27, 2010

68th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Today Bobby Rich launched his Bobby’s Buddies web site. You have heard him on his Morning MIXfm Show for the past four or five Wednesdays talk about doing something. Well, here it is. BobbysBuddies.org, an Umbrella Community Service Program where he will supports all kinds of Neighbors Helping Neighbors Help™.

We can be proud of his important, citywide initiative because our One Can A Week’s consistent community service M.O. is the foundation for Bobby’s new program.

The first few emails Bobby received from folks interested in becoming one of Bobby’s Buddies brought up some intriguing concepts. One long-standing interfaith organization wants to use Bobby’s Buddies as an incentive program—not to encourage new volunteers—but to reward people who have been dedicated volunteers for some time. Another person wants to weed her neighborhood because weeds on lawns of homes and foreclosed homes in a neighborhood decrease property values in addition to encouraging crime.

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, NJ tells a story about a gentleman who weeded and primped the lawn of a drug house in his neighborhood. Since folks were noticing the house, the druggies became very uncomfortable and moved out.

In about 90 days, anyone who volunteers to become one of Bobby’s Buddies, will get a page on Bobby’s website chronicling his or her weekly accomplishments. Check out One Can A Week on the Bobby’s Buddies web site (http://www.bobbysbuddies.org/OCAW_Results.html) to see an example. Also, when milestones are reached—such as 13 weeks of continuous service—rewards will be offered. Then, too, Bobby’s Buddies will get to meet with Bobby Rich on occasion to talk about more ways to help our neighbors.

Bobby’s web site is a very colorful way to kick off a significant community service program. All of us need to be “fired up and ready to go” and Bobby’s is the guy who can give us the motivation and the energy to do something.

Styrofoam Cup Champion
The Rincon Market’s Styrofoam Cup keeps on bringing home the gold, silver and greenbacks. This week the modest little cup collected $160.83 for the Community Food Bank. This translates to $1,447.47 in CFB food and services ($1.00 = $9.00) for our city’s neediest. Amazing!

Quick Round
It only took 2 and one half hours to collect all of the food in the Miles Neighborhood this past weekend, and that included a 30-minute lunch break. Since our totals were: 148 lbs. of food, 4 lbs. of produce, 2 lbs. of pet food , 24 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart and $14.50 in cash, the load is not getting lighter, I’m getting faster…and perhaps even stronger. The final food total was 178 lbs., above our average of 165 lbs. If I cut out lunch I could really move. Nope, that’s never going to happen.

The Cute Culprit and The New Wrinkle – A Tale of Two Dogs
Adam loves people and is often affectionate. Getting picked up and hugged is one of his most favorite activities. Dogs on the other hand have to watch out for the nipper because he is so much more than discerning.

Enter Nemi, a six-month-old (born on October 31st) Shar-Pei, black lab mix. She has the wrinkles to prove it. And the sweetest and sunniest disposition ever.

Her family, my next door neighbors, has to find her a new home because the adult daughter must pay more attention to her ailing mother than a personality-filled pup.  

We wanted or rather I wanted to take her but Adam disagrees with the prospect of another dog in his home…uha, our home. Even after a bunch of tries, Adam is still firm.

Looking for a new home for Nemi – If you like charming and alive dogs, you and your family will love Nemi. She needs a little training but is an incredibly fast learner. I taught her to fetch in three or four tosses. One long toss that was not returned but a couple of short tosses taught her the game and back to the long toss. Elapsed time: 45 seconds.

When you take Nemi, you will also receive a free Top Tag Pet ID, the first USB complete-care pet ID tag shown on the right. I invented this product and it sells on our website for $34.95.

Think about Nemi for your family or someone you know. She will never disappoint you or anyone you recommend.

Thanks for listening to my tale. Please call me at 520-248-3694 or respond to this email.

See you Sunday,


Monday, April 19, 2010

67th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Setting the Pace
With the introduction of the new Bobby’s Buddies “Thank You” and “Sorry We Missed You” Cards in our One Can A Week food donation program here in the Miles Neighborhood, we established another milestone.

We are the first to be selected and enrolled in a unique citywide umbrella community service program created by Bobby Rich. As we proved over and over again these past 15 months, your one can, like your one vote, is all that is necessary to change the world.

The First to Say Yes
If you remember the story, Ed Altamirano was the first person I spoke to about One Can A Week. We stood in the middle of Miles about 50 feet from his home and discussed the viability of a One Can A Week program. He said he was a city inspector and often saw empty shelves and empty refrigerators in the homes he inspected. Amazing how he turned out to be the one person in the Miles neighborhood who had first hand experience with the hunger problem here in Tucson and the one person I needed to meet to help keep me motivated.

Three More Not So Auspicious Firsts
On the left is the first house I started with lo those many months ago so I thought it proper to place the first Bobby’s Buddies “Thank You” Card where it all began.

Nobody was behind the red door on the right, so they got the first Bobby’s Buddies “Sorry We Missed You” Card.

In the center is a neighbor’s wall where I saw from afar the first can of donated food when I launched One Can A Week.

Maybe a Guinness World Record Holder
Every Saturday after I set up my One Can A Week table, Ron Abbott the owner of the Rincon Market hands me a bank pouch stuffed with money. I zip open the pouch to find lots of bills and oodles of coins. While I nod and smile hello to the breakfast folks, I stand at the table and separate the coins and bills which I count at home later.

This week the total was $166.18. That’s the most so far and it got me thinking. Does the Guinness Book of Records have a record category for the most money raised by a Styrofoam cup? If they do than I’m sure the Rincon Market Styrofoam soup cup could be a contender.

With a little time on my hands and not much more than donated cash results to report; I decided to visit the Guinness web site. My first inquiry returned “Your search - most money raised by a Styrofoam cup - did not match any documents.” Well at least there’s still hope. I’ll keep looking and I know that Styrofoam cup is going to keep on collecting. Record or not, it’s a real winner for the hungry folks here in Tucson.

It Takes Charm
Barbara Farragut set up our banana donation program a few months ago and in just a few weeks my “lack of something” ended it. I would stop by at the appointed time and they had nothing.

Then this Sunday I saw two large and two small banana boxes waiting for me at Lenny’s house on 12th Street. He said Barbara will personally pick up the bananas every Sunday when she stops to buy her morning coffee and paper after church.

With the addition of the 116 lbs. of bananas, and the 24 lbs. of food from the Axis Food Mart, we collected a total of 290 lbs. of food this week and $27.00 in cash. Yeah, Barbara!

See you Sunday,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SPECIAL 66th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Again Folks,

Beginning of Bobby’s Buddies
This morning at 7:50 am, Bobby Rich on The Bobby Rich Morning MIXfm radio show launched his personal community service program and asked all of his listener-neighbors to help make a difference here in Tucson.

Bobby's Buddies is not a formal organization like a nonprofit, foundation or charity,” Bobby wrote on his MIXfm web page. “In fact, there will be no fund raising or paid staff for my organization—just neighbors helping neighbors who really need it.”

Bobby's Buddies,” he added, “are people like you and me coming together to help specific causes near us. This can be the hungry with our One Can A Week project or the diaperless with the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona or other community needs.

“We can make Bobby's Buddies a "civil" undertaking where we have high purpose and selflessness.

“We, as Bobby's Buddies, can effortlessly move together once a week for a few hours in our individual neighborhoods and help our neighbors help. At the same time, we will be building our communities and teaching our children a better way forward.”

Open to everyone, but…
Bobby’s Buddies is for anyone who wants to get involved in community service. Visit Bobby’s web page and take the simple quiz to help you determine if becoming one of Bobby’s Buddies is right for you. The single essential requirement is consistency which means doing something every week to help your neighbors help.

After answering the six quiz questions, think about how you’d like to get involved in community service. Lastly, send Bobby Rich an email and tell him what you’d like to do. That’s all it takes to become one of Bobby’s Buddies.

The Hardest Working Styrofoam Cup in Charity
Noelle was off two weeks ago and no one knew where she put the weekly Community Food Bank money pouch. Obviously in a safe place.

Last Saturday Noelle was there and I was handed two really stuffed pouches. One for the week she was off and one for the past week.

It took me an hour to count and roll all of the dollars and coins. When I finished I had $221.35. That means the Rincon Market’s little Styrofoam cup collected over $110 a week in donations. Think about it, a year on the job and that little cup will generate more than $5,700 for the food bank. Wonder where we can place other little Styrofoam cups? Actually, this sounds like a job for one of Bobby’s Buddies.

Yes, We Have No Bananas, Oranges or Lemons
The three Circle Ks decided not to participate any more in our One Can A Week program and the fruit trees ended their season of giving so we are now back to our normal level of Miles generosity which is still pretty darn good. We collected 176 lbs. of food which includes 30 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart and $9.00 in cash.

See you Sunday.


Monday, April 12, 2010

66th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

                                       Mrs. Grant    Bobby Rich   Greg Curtis

Very Special Announcement
On Wednesday morning, Bobby Rich at 7:50 am (10:50 am EST.) is going to tell everyone about his very creative and very personal community service idea that will help thousands upon thousands of needy folks here in Tucson…each and every week.

Tune into 94.9 MIXfm on Wednesday 15 minutes before 8 as you drive to or get ready for work. For anyone out of town, just click on this link MIXfm 94.9 and stream Bobby Rich’s live radio show over the internet.

On Wednesday morning, I will send out our regular weekly email with more information on Bobby’s Very Special Announcement and other One Can A Week news.

Mark you calendar and set your radio dial…because this is something you don’t want to miss.

See you Sunday,


Monday, April 5, 2010

65th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Over the past several months I have been trying to put a face on the hungry folks here and around the country. At Easter dinner while sitting next to my friend Maen in his beautiful home and across from his friend Bob, a retired corporate pilot, it came to me. But only after Bob told a few exciting stories about flying his jet through thunder storms over the Amazon jungle on the way to Brazil.

As a normal conversation courtesy, Bob asked me what I do. I mentioned my Top Tag Pet ID and then focused in on One Can A Week. I started out by saying the Community Food Bank provides emergency food assistance for 34,000 unique individuals each week. And this figure is only what they are able to do with their available resources.

Bob interjected a geographic comment about South Tucson and Maen spoke right up. “No, it’s everywhere and affects everyone.” He quickly added, “My store serves a neighborhood just 5 blocks from the university and shortly after I installed a food stamp machine my food sales went up 25%.”

I then mentioned, of that 34,000 figure, 83% live below the federal poverty level ($22,050 for a family of 4) with almost half of these households having one employed adult and 40% of the Community Food Bank’s clients are children. Bob again brought up South Tucson and I knew I was not getting through to him.

I thought about the 34,000 folks and saw them in my mind just as if I were at a ballgame or in a shopping mall. Then words just came out of my mouth. Every time you see a huge crowd at a U of A sporting event, that’s how many folks the Community Food Bank feeds each week…and 40% or around 14,000 of the crowd is children. (I quickly figured half of 34,000 and took a bunch off. Later when I used a calculator and got 13,600, I gave myself cookie.)

Another thought came to mind so I did not let Bob interrupt. Every time you get service at a restaurant (fast food or otherwise) or every time you are helped by a clerk at a department store or every time you check out at a superstore, you are looking at a potential client of the Community Food Bank because minimum wage earners are at the most risk for hunger.

“Pay me now … or pay me later”
When I looked in Bob’s eyes I could see I was making an impression so I moved on. When kids do not receive proper nutrition, they experience inadequate brain and personality development and they become discipline problems in the early grades disrupting the teacher and the other children who are trying to learn. Then real trouble starts in high school if they make it that far. On the street they become society’s problem often ending up in the criminal justice system.

As the Fram Oil filter mechanic said in the famous TV commercial, “you can pay me now or pay me later,” referring to bigger expenses if you ignore acting now. Bob laughed and said he liked and remembered that commercial. Even Maen who was new to the country at the time heard of the commercial.

It is better to feed children three square meals a day at very little cost, I continued, than pay for their incarceration year after year when they become adults.

I stopped the conversation or more appropriately, my monologue, right there. Bob was silent for a moment and said, “I have never looked at the hunger problem from that perspective before. It is something to think about.”

I turned to Maen and smiled. For the first time I put a face on hungry folks. These are the people we see every day and they take care of us every day. We’ve got to take care of them every day or at the very least, once a week.

Lots of food, fruit and one chocolate marshmallow Easter Bunny
The chocolate bunny was for me and it was gone before I drove 50 feet after picking it up. However, the 246 lbs. of food we collected—that included 64 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart—arrived safely at the food bank on Monday morning. We also had $8.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,