Monday, July 18, 2011

132nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Five in a Row

Frances Coleman and Peter Norback
My presentation to the Senior Companions at Our Family Services organization last week struck a cord. On Friday I received an email from Frances Coleman, Project Manager, Senior Companions that contained her message to all of her members

“The Senior Companions voted to adopt One Can A Week as their service project, and will bring at least one can to their monthly meetings. Some will bring more. With just one can, we will have 44 cans to donate to the Community Food Bank.”

Frances continued, “40% of the hungry in Tucson are children, which really shocked me. These kids desperately need meals 3 times a day so their brains have a chance to develop. 12% of the hungry are seniors. The remaining folks are the “working poor.” None of these statistics even include the homeless population, so hunger is farther reaching than the numbers reveal."

Stacey Harrington, Vidal Ramirez and John Rorke,
ASU School of Social Work – Tucson Component
graduate students
John called me today to set up a meeting at Chicago pizza Tuesday night. He wants to give me an update on how well the team is moving forward. He spilled the bean a bit though. The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood is initiating One Can A Week in August and Bill Anderson, the past president is accepting the Coordinator position. Also, La Frontera, Arizona will initiate One Can A Week at its facilities in the next few weeks.

John apologized for taking so long to get the ball rolling for One Can A Week. I wouldn’t hear of it. What great work the team is doing and its only been a month or two.

Rick Stertz
On Saturday morning Rick Stertz stopped by my display table, coffee and roll in hand and picked up the Arizona Star news story I have on display.

“Does this list your contact information?” he asked.

It didn’t so I gave him a business card.

“I have a KVOI radio show to do in a few minutes,” he said, “and I want to talk about your good work.”

Then he was gone.

Rick is always saying I do good work. Not sure what he means because all I do is stand behind the table and smile. Really, that’s not much work at all.

Rincon Market Saturday morning
John, my favorite Systems Engineer graduate student at the U of A came up to the table to tell me he was hungry and he started One Can A Week in his neighborhood.

He visited 10 homes and 6 asked to participate and requested he come back every Sunday. That’s close to the percentage I experienced. Hope it’s a trend.

John ordered one of those terrifically huge Rincon Market omelets and his hunger went away…and then so did he.

Right when Al Shoemaker called me at the Axis Food Mart, I was extremely busy with a keg delivery and 5 or 6 customers. Al was having one of those “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moments.

Kym Fuhrig
He slid to the floor between his couch and some other furniture and only had the strength to reach for his cell phone. He said he went down the list in his mind of his nearest neighbors but they were away on vacation…all of them.

Al called me because I’m around a lot. But at the moment I was swamped and couldn’t close the store and run to his aid. Then I thought of Kym, our volunteer on 13th Street.

Within seconds she answered the phone and started writing down directions. A few minutes later she was by Al’s side helping him up on the couch. Only Al’s pride was slightly injured…and whose wouldn’t be.

Kym saved Al and me that day. Next time I see Rick Stertz I’m going to tell him, “Now that’s what I call good work!”

Not So Much as Always
This is the first week in a very long time that we did not maintain our average of 168 lbs. I got a little sad but then I remembered … hey, there’s always next week.

We collected a total of 136 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $58.50, $50.00 in checks and $8.50 in cash.

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