Monday, January 31, 2011

108th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

It Takes a Neighborhood to Raise a Child

Two young sisters, maybe 8- and 11-years-old were buying candy at the Axis Food Mart. I was on the cash register behind the counter.

After ringing up the sale I stepped from behind the register for a moment but caught some movement out of the corner of my eye in front of the counter. The girls slowly walked out of the store and I raced back to Maen’s office. “Check the video,” I said. “I think somebody just dipped into the Food Bank canister.”

In a second, Maen had an image up on the monitor of the youngest girl messing with the donation canister. He raced outside and found the girls still in the parking lot. He gently confronted the young girl and convinced her to reach into her pocket and give up the crinkled dollar she just took. Maen has three young children of his own, two daughters and a boy and he’s a bit of an expert when it comes to explaining the right way to behave.

The Axis Food Mart is a family store so it wasn’t long before the father of the two girls stopped by to pick up some beer. Maen quietly discussed the taking of the dollar from the Food Bank donation canister. The father appreciated the information and said he would handle it.

This Sunday the sisters showed up again and the 8-year-old, in a hurry to hit the candy aisle, dropped her two dollars on the counter in front of Maen who was working the register. Maen moved the money behind the Food Bank canister and waited for her to return.

When the 8-year-old was ready to check out she stepped up to the counter and noticed her money was gone. ”Where’s my money,” she said. “I just put it here on the counter.”

Maen asked her, “What money?” and suggested someone probably took it. The little girl’s face dropped to the floor. Maen could see she was very upset. “How does that make you feel?” he asked.

“Terrible. I feel terrible. Who took my money?”

Maen kept up the questioning until he was sure she understood what it feels like to have someone take your property. He quickly changed course when he thought she might begin to cry.

Maen asked her if she remembered taking the dollar from the Food Bank canister. She did. “Well, how you feel now, he said, “is exactly how the people at the Food Bank felt when you took their money.” Everybody feels terrible when their money is stolen … just like you feel now.

Maen reached behind the canister. “Oh, here’s your money, it was here all the time.”

Maen scanned her candy, took the two dollars and started to hand her the change.

She held up her hand to stop him. “Give it to the Food Bank,” the young girl said as she scooped up her candy and walked toward the door with her sister. Maen thought, maybe, just maybe, she now understands that other people have feeling, too.

The morale of this story is simple. We all have to help each other whenever help is needed so our kids can grow up and tell their kids that "in the old days" everybody in the neighborhood taught them how to treat people with respect.

Faster Then Maaco
Photo by Rebecca Lipson
In less than a week the Miles middle school classes painted and tricked out the ordinary orange shopping cart given to them by the Community Food Bank. Especially impressive was the Mustang hubcap mounted on the front. It says Miles Mustangs—their school mascot—loud and clear.

This week amid all of the other school activities they collected 156 lbs. of food. This means in two weeks the nearly 400 lbs. of food they donated fed over 300 people one meal.

Go Mustangs!


A Neighbor in Need
Kim on Highland Avenue, along with her mother and sister were just told they have to move or get rid of their two dogs Moose (pictured here) and Happy. Even though the landlady owns two dogs herself, she decided she no longer wants pets at her triplex. Kim only has a month-to-month contract so she must look for a residence elsewhere. She wants to stay in Miles and I sure want to keep her as a neighbor. If you know of a one bedroom apartment or home for $520 a months that allows pets, please call Kim at (520) 873-8566. Thanks for the help.

Cereal Sunday
Pauline Hechler, VP of Development at the Community Food Bank always encourages people to donate healthy cereal for kids. It makes a quick and nutritious breakfast, something hungry kids don’t always get. Well, this week the folks at DKA Associates on the corner of Broadway and Vine took the suggestion to heart. We got so much cereal you can’t even see the cans.

We collected a total of 318 lbs. of food, including 40 lbs. of produce, and 102 lbs. from The Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $64.00 … a $50.00 check and $14.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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