Tuesday, September 28, 2010

90th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Big Report for Some Big News
We just ended our third quarter for 2010 and so far this year we collected 9,797.5 lbs. of food and $1,732.18 in cash. When we compare those numbers to last year’s total of 9,203.5 lbs. of food and $1,953,38 in cash I’m nearly speechless…but not quite. We will surpass our cash donations because we are currently only $221.20 behind last year’s amount. But what excites me the most is we are feeding a lot of hungry folks here in Tucson (2,515 adults and kids three meals in one day so far this year) and we have one more quarter to go. Thank you very much for helping me. Okay, I’ll be quiet now.

First in Line for the Winterhaven Bobby’s Buddies Plan B Program
Bobby Rich (second on right) from the 94.9 MIXfm Bobby Rich Morning Mix Show visited the Community Food Bank last Thursday to drop off his donation. He was joined by Jack Parris, Media Relations, yours truly, and Bill Carnegie, President/CEO.

Just in Case Winterhaven Can't Open - Bobby Rich (second on 
right) at the Community Food Bank has plenty of help with 
his donation from Jack Parris, (left) Peter Norback and
Bill Carnegie.
Bobby is asking his radio listeners to help him make sure the Community Food Bank donations do not fall short this December. The Winterhaven Festival of Lights is a major contributor to the Food Bank but this year they are experiencing some financial troubles. Bobby’s Plan B for his Bobby’s Buddies is to back up the Winterhaven Festival and personally represent 100 Winterhaven visitors by donating 20 lbs. of food and $15.00 to the Community Food Bank. He would like 1,500 folks to join him to make sure needy families don’t go hungry at Christmas time if Winterhaven doesn’t open. It only takes 1,500 people donating 20 lbs. and $15.00 to match the Winterhaven donations.

Visit Bobby’s web site at BobbysBuddies.org and read more about his Plan B to help the Community Food Bank and the Winterhaven Festival of Light at the same time.

The Almost Escape of the Green Trunk Finger Puppet
Howard and I were emptying the Cabriolet at the Food Bank Monday morning and filling up the food basket when he tumbled out of a paper bag and into the cart. Immediately Howard knew what it was and grabbed him. “I want to put him on the dash of the truck I drive around the state,” he said. “My next trip is to a food bank near the New Mexico border. That’s 6 hours away. He’ll be good company,” he laughed.

The finger puppet probably belongs to a beautiful little baby girl I saw Sunday crawling around the tile floor when her mom opened the door to hand me her food donation. Actually, the Green Trunk finger puppet is probably part of a whole troop of digit entertainers but now he’s riding in a big rig feeding people in remote Arizona locales. Although his former job was to make a pretty baby smile, I’ll bet he likes his new job even more.

We collected a total of 266 lbs. of food, including 96 pounds of produce and 12 lbs. from The Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $166.00 … one $25.00, and one $100.00 check, plus $41.00 in cash.

See you Sunday.


Monday, September 20, 2010

89th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Winterhaven Festival of Lights Plan B
If you haven’t heard, Winterhaven has a $50,000 budget shortfall and may not be able to turn the lights on this year. The City of Tucson just cut the Winterhaven budget of $60,000 completely from the city’s budget to accommodate its own shortfall. Jim Tofel a Winterhaven resident and spokesperson said the money goes to pay for security for the two-week event.

The off-duty police officers who provide that much needed security will miss the extra holiday cash, but the organization most affected by the Christmas lights blackout is the Community Food Bank. According to Bill Carnegie, President/CEO, the festival is the second largest food donation program they have. Last year Winterhaven donated 33,000 lbs. of food and $23,000 in cash.

More Numbers
On average, there are 155,000 visitors to the Winerhaven Festival of Lights each year. Taking into consideration last year’s donations for the Community Food Bank, each visitor gave 0.2 lbs. of food and $0.15 cents. This means I can be 100 visitors and donate 20 lbs. of food and $15.00 in cash.

I know by December 6th —7 weeks from now—I can come up with that amount of food and money. How many of you think you can also? You may include others, too, such as work buddies and schoolmates. The Community Food Bank can’t take this hit. But more important, the hungry folks and their kids the Food Bank supports would be crushed.

Of course, I will be happy to take your Festival of Lights donation to the Food Bank whenever you are ready. Or you can drop it off at the Axis Food Mart. Everyone who participates in the Festival of Lights donation program will be listed on the Bobby Rich Bobby’s Buddies web site. This reward could turn from something nice to something special if my plans work out.

Meet and Greet
Kym was running up and down the cliffs of the Grand Canyon this weekend so I got to see my 13th Street neighbors again. Several came out to greet me as I drove up and it reminded me of the opening scene in Oliver Twist were lots of busy neighbors are out and about saying hello. I often have Oliver Twist on my mind when I make my Sunday rounds.

We collected a total of 192 lbs. of food, including 56 pounds of produce. The money we donated amounted to $70.40 … one $25.00 check, $17.00 from the Axis Food Mart and $28.40 in cash.

See you Sunday.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

88th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Making the most of a small thing
Through July and August the Rincon Market’s little Styrofoam soup cup and the Saturday morning display table averaged $64 a week. Then on September 4th, the cup along with the table paper plate collected $110.24. At least 80% of the donations came from the cup. It was so full with dollar bills that coins could not be pushed through the slit on the top.

When I arrived this Saturday, I set up the table by the front door as usual and headed for the cup next to the cash register. What a disappointment. There were a few bills and some change. This is not going to be a good week, I thought.

I asked one of the cashiers if there were a money pouch in the back which happened weekly when we first started our Saturday morning program in the Rincon Market. But not lately with $64 dollars coming in as the average.

Ron Abbott the owner of the Rincon Market approached my table holding a bulging green money pouch. “Two day ago the cup got so full I had to empty it,” Ron said with a big grin. “There’s a lot of money in there.”

It took until nearly 11 o’clock to count and wrap the money. The cup total came to $97.92. I always write the weekly figure on the back of the cup so the staff can see how they do each week. I know they encourage the donations with their very helpful and friendly demeanor so I think they should see the fruits of their smiles. Actually, they ask me, “how did we do this week?” so I’m not guessing that they care.

Are there other places in town where a similar simple Fund Raising Cup can encourage folks to put their bills and change into a slot instead of back in their pockets? I'm pretty sure there are so I’ll let you know.

My best friend’s mom is getting over a major operation—and doing extremely well I enjoy saying—so when I stopped by to see how everyone was feeling last week, I was asked if I wanted some home grown squash. Now I’m a single guy and squash takes some real prep time and then there’s the taste thing. I hesitated a moment but quickly realized that if I said no I might impede the healing process. Absolutely I replied and took as many as I was handed.

If you look real close they are just below the Ragu jar near the top of the cart…a yellow, outdoor faucet looking object and a green Mexican squash. It took me a couple of days to figure out I never have to refuse or throw out food I dislike again. I’m the food guy. I can donate the food gifts and make them someone else’s problem. Just kidding…but I can tell you, from now on I am going to remember the regifting concept at every social gathering I attend.

We collected a total of 200 lbs. of food, including 46 pounds of produce and 4 lbs of pet food. The money we donated amounted to $45.00 … two checks, $10.00 and $25.00 and $10.00 in cash.

See you Sunday.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

87th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

We Are the Answer
Income inequity has been with us a long time. Just before the Great Depression it was running rampant. The top 1% gathered in 18% of the nation’s income. When the Depression did arrive so did 25% unemployment and bread lines. It was terrible for millions upon millions of Americans. Right now, today, the One Percenters capture 24% of the income. That means it is worse and we’re in a very stubborn recession. What could possibly happen?

I’ve been reading Timothy Noah’s multi-part article on Slate.com called The Great Divergence: What’s Causing America’s Growing Income Inequity? The articles are well written and explain a whole lot about what we’re experiencing every day. For instance to quote Timothy, “The deep nostalgia for that period (1950s and 1960s) felt by the World War II generation—the era of Life magazine and the bowling league—reflects something more than mere sentimentality. Assuming you were white, not of draft age, and Christian, there probably was no better time to belong to America's middle class.” That’s the America older folks have been yelling at us to go back to. We’re not that America any more and we can’t go back.

What we can do is keep on doing what we have been doing which is not much. This will surely increase the ranks of the needy, the hungry and the unemployed. And many of us could join them with a slight twist of fate.

So what’s the answer? It is what the answer has always been and one we skillfully avoid. Vote.

We all have to vote en masse…not just a few now and again. The good it does is it will frighten the One Percenters who will leave our money, our homes, our social security and our jobs alone.

Think of this, now that there are so many unemployed, management does not have to listen to demands. They just replace strikers with hungry unemployed folks at half the rate. It’s happening at a Mott’s Apple Juice factory in New York. Chalk up another one for the One Percenters.

Or on election day, chalk one up for us because just pushing a button or filling in a box for your candidate makes you a very powerful person in America. And when we stand tightly together no one can pick our pockets.

Bobby’s Buddies Web Site Sounding Good
Every Wednesday we will now post the audio of Bobby Rich’s on-air community service comments.If you miss the Wednesday show, you can listen anytime you have time. (See red arrow below.)

Last week Bobby talked about The Golden Rule and a sixth grade class where only one student could recite the axiom from memory. Click on the link to listen and you will be surprised and perhaps startled that 12-year-olds are not learning an important lesson in life.

This Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7:50 am Bobby will talk about everyone’s favorite subject…Money and Generosity. There’s a surprise in this discussion, too. Who knew that money had that much control?

Babies, Dogs and Teeth
Believe this is our second diaper run but we’ve donated lots of pet food and toothpaste. All very good items.

We collected a total of 190 lbs. of food, including 74 pounds of produce. The money we donated amounted to $52.45…$20 from the Axis Food Mart, one checks for $25.00 and $7.45 in cash.

See you Sunday.