Monday, May 17, 2010

71st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

A Contract Matters
We are creating a Bobby’s Buddies Consistent Community Service Pledge which each volunteer will sign before becoming one of Bobby’s Buddies. It is only binding in the heart, but still we think it is important.

On Sunday I learned how important after watching the segment on Gustavo Dudamel the new, 29-year-old conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Gustavo is from Venezuela and a product of a free, countrywide music program in Venezuela called “El Sistema” or The System.

First grade students receive an instrument and join a music program that runs for four hours, four days a week, after the school day ends. Gustavo is a product of El Sistema as are millions of Venezuelan children.

The only requirement is parents sign a contract promising that their kids will be at the lessons and rehearsals, get good grades and care for the instrument. A small price to pay for kids who stay off the streets and out of harms way. And, too, they learn so many important lessons in life, beginning with teamwork.

The story on Gustavo runs 13 minutes but what stuck out for me was the 20 seconds devoted to the contract. The parents signed it willing because it opened avenues for their kids to better their lives and you could see in the parents’ eyes, that they would do anything for their kids. Then I realized this contract, although quite official, was a matter of the heart, too. These parents are very poor folks in Venezuela who could repay nothing even if they broke the contract.

Consequently, it is the signing that is important not the piece of paper. I learned an important lesson watching 60 Minutes, just as the kids do in the story on El Sistema.

Below is a link to the El Sistema program that is now being incorporated in Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, New York and Miami. It gives me hope that we do have people all over the country who are taking up the challenge to create a more civil world.;contentAux

Interest in Bobby’s Buddies
Diane Luber, Development Manager for Interfaith Community Services and Sandi Brickley, Volunteer Coordinator met with me today to talk about their more than 600 volunteers becoming Bobby’s Buddies. Of course, they can. We just have to develop a way to chart all of their activities since the Bobby’s Buddies program is based on accountability. We’ll figure it out, don’t you worry.

Not So Much
When I closed the trunk lid on the Taurus where I store the collected food overnight I thought the donations were a bit light. And again in the morning when I transferred everything to the Cabriolet for the short trip to the Community Food Bank I estimated about 130-140 lbs. Like most folks, I hate being wrong, but when it comes to underestimating our Sunday donations, no big deal. And this week I sure was wrong. We collected 187 lbs. of food including 20 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart. On top of that, we had $19.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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