Monday, July 11, 2011

131st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
This May Work!

On Tuesday and Wednesday I’ve been invited to make a One Can A Week presentation to the Senior Companion Volunteers at Our Family Services. These folks are involved in a “national volunteer service initiative through which low-income women and men 55 years of age and older receive stipends to provide respite and companion services to homebound elderly adults and people with disabilities.”

Click on link to read more about Our Family Services.

The reason I say this may work is in the past when I explained how One Can A Week works to a group, someone immediately pipes up. “What a great idea. I can just have them drop off their donations at my home.”

For the next few minutes I have to explain—with a bit of a forced smile on my face—how that does not work and neighbors will resent having to do all of the work while the “organizer” cools his or her heals at home.

A few doubted my assessment of their approach and they pressed forward anyway. Unfortunately, their efforts or better yet, their non-efforts never paid off.

So the “visiting neighbors” conundrum is apparently off the table for Our Family Services’ Senior Companion Volunteers. It’s what they do.

In the email I received from Frances Coleman, the Senior Companion Program Manager inviting me to talk, she wrote, “It is my hope the Senior Companions will like the One Can A Week idea, and adopt it as their service project for the year.”

Great, now all I have to do is get them excited about the effectiveness of the program.

While creating the presentation I compiled a chart highlighting the donations the Miles Neighborhood made yearly to the Community Food Bank. This is a companion piece to the statistics enumerating who the needy are and how many the Food Bank serves. It’s really depressing if you think about it much. Facts like, one is seven children in Southern Arizona is at risk of hunger or 45% of the Food Bank’s client base is the Working Poor.

Shortly after adding up our donations I was smiling again. In 131 weeks we have donated over 30,725 lbs. of food and $5,850.64 in cash. Just counting the food, we have fed 7,878 folks three meals in one day. It’s a whole bunch more if we calculate in the money. Bill Carnegie, the Food Bank CEO says each dollar is equivalent to $10 dollars in food and services. That means we kind of donated $58,506.40. Amazing.

Will I be successful in convincing others to join our support of the Community Food Bank? Not sure, but I do have a terrific story to tell, thanks to all the Miles neighbors I visit each and every Sunday.

Racing the Rain
Think a record was set this Sunday. The gathering storm clouds caused me to scoot around the neighborhood. I finished before 2 pm but still had my 45-minute lunch. Then nuts, no rain!

We collected a total of 158 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $6.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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