Monday, June 21, 2010

76th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

1000% Return
Not someone who is remotely superstitious, I walk on cracks, never knock on wood, and relish hanging out with black cats. However, my friend Mark who sells handcrafted jewelry at the Rincon Market every Saturday is. He also believes in tithing 10% and sharing a part of his first Rincon Market sale with the Community Food Bank. He once told me that when one gives he or she can expect a ten-fold reward. I smile and thank him each week for his donation and wish there were more folks like him…right there in the Rincon Market.

About 11 o’clock, Mark approached my table and tossed a $2 bill on the paper plate I use for donations and said a man who just gave him the bill called it lucky and encouraged him to pass it on. He wanted to make sure I, too, would pass it on. “Right to the Community Food Bank,” I assured him.

After Mark left a handyman fellow I know who occasionally has breakfast at the Rincon Market called my name as he approached the table. “Hey, Peter, I just fixed a lady’s door and she gave me too much money for the job, so I am going to give some of it to you. She gave me too much money,” he said again.

I thought maybe the lady was so grateful for the renewed security she paid him what it was worth to her instead of his normal fee. “How about if I take these two $1 bills and this $2 bill,” he suggested, “and give you a $10.

That was fine with me...$6 more for the Community Food Bank. Within a couple of minutes an older couple stopped by to talk. As the woman spoke, her husband started fumbling and digging into his wallet. They were visiting from South Africa and she volunteered that their community service involved helping folks with Aids. Finally, the gentleman dropped a colorful bill on the paper plate and his wife immediately said, “What are you doing? That’s Swaziland money.”

He leap right into excuse mode and defended his apparent poor eyesight. “Well it looks like American money—kind of green. But you are right; it is only worth about $1.50.” He then chuckled.

The next bill he pulled out of his wallet was a $20. “I’ll give you this and take the $10.”

By now it was 11:15 and I had just witnessed three transactions—starting with the “lucky” $2 bill—that turned in a ten-fold profit. Mind you, I think there is something called luck but none of it ever happens around me. Be that as it may, I still think the concept is worth investigating so today I went to my bank and got a $2 bill. This coming Saturday instead of “priming the paper plate” with a couple of my bucks and some change, I’m going to feature a $2 bill. Superstition is not in my genes, but I can tell you this, I’ll put a stack of $2 bills on that paper plate if it helps feed more hungry folks here in Tucson.

Variety is the Spice of Giving
It’s very easy to fall into a pattern especially when an activity is once a week about the time. But here at Miles, folks keep the idea of donating to the Community Food Bank fresh by giving different items each week. It is as if they go shopping and wait for an idea to hit them. “Oh, this would be good for my Sunday donation.” This week Barbara, Lenny, Kym and I picked up baby formula, dog food, toiletries, lots of different kinds of breakfast cereals and lunch packs which kids love. The variety we see every Sunday keeps us from getting bored, too.

We collected 154 lbs. of food that includes a stuffed 2 lb. shopping bag of Maruchan Instant Lunch packs from the Axis Food
Mart and $6 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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