Monday, July 25, 2011

133rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
The Man Was Dressed
All in Black and His Money
Was Very Green
The automatic doors at the Rincon Market slid open and in walked a man looking like Roy Orbison in the latter years except no sunglasses were in sight. He was dressed in black shiny sweat pants and a black cotton polo shirt. His round face was smiling as he slowed to read the large sign in front of the One Can A Week table. His right hand found the invisible pocket seam in his pants and pulled out a wad of folded and rubber banded cash that was at least 2 inches thick I stared at Ulysses S. Grant who stared back at me with half a face. The rest of our 18th President’s gaze was on the other side of the bulging wad

He then motioned as if he were going to place the wad on the well-used paper collection plate. The muscles in my right arm were thinking about reaching out to take that hunk of money but I knew it was just a joke. He raised his eyebrows once or twice as if to ask, “Huh, what do you think? Should I?”

I just sat there motionless and said, “That would be nice.”

He quickly put the lump of money back into his secret vault pocket and walked over to the omelet grill. For the next few minutes I thought about his actions and wondered why he would participate in such an immature practical joke. Folks with that much cash seldom display their wealth. I took a bet with myself that he was feeling a bit foolish as he ate his breakfast. I do that a lot about things, you know, bet myself because I never have to pay when I’m right … or wrong.

I had just about finished counting this week’s donations when the man in black approached my table again. This time he pulled out a much smaller wad that measured about half an inch thick and was topped with a $20 bill. I know this was a different collection of money because he couldn’t have spent that much on breakfast even though the pricing and portions at the Rincon Market are quite healthy.

He peeled off the top bill and placed it on the paper plate. I thanked him and he left. Not one word did he speak throughout our two-act play.

Maybe thirty minutes later my friend Terry stopped by for coffee and a cup of tea that he graciously bought for me. I told him about the man in black and as we spoke, the man popped back in through the sliding doors.

“That’s the guy,” I said looking in his direction.

“I know him,” replied Terry. “I didn’t think he had money.”

I won three time on Saturday. I knew the man in black embarrassed himself. I also knew that he really knew how to handle his money by projecting an average Joe image. And finally, because I knew these things, I earned twenty dollars more for the Community Food Bank.

They Call the
Blue Box Shorty

Trying to fit in, yet wanting still to stand out,
the Community Food Bank Box is engaged in a visual experiment.

As we learned with the Community Food Bank box at the Sunflower Market on Speedway, a collection box is a good thing but if it’s a bit big, 37 inches tall, and a bit plain, lots of white with a little green printing, blending into the d├ęcor may be a struggle.

The new pink box at the Sunflower Market is doing a terrific job. It is collecting a steady average of 24 lbs. a week when just a short time ago there would only be a can or two in the box each week.

For the Senior Companion’s One Can A Week collection campaign at Our Family Services organization, the box was shortened 6 inches, covered in bright blue wrapping paper and bordered by the four 3D Thank You Kids.

The first reaction was a request for another blue box they can display in the Dodge Blvd. office. That is a very good sign.

The Sun is Not Sweet on Chocolate
Toward the end of my run on Sunday a neighbor included 6 Hershey bars along with his can donation. Fifteen minutes later the mushy bars were placed in the freezer awaiting Monday’s delivery.

It takes only 10 minutes to drive from my refrigerator to the Food Bank but still the candy bars were sweating and bending a bit. No matter, no one ever complains about chocolate bars, just the time it takes to stiffen them back up in the cooler.

We collected a total of 160 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $34.50, a $25.00 check and $9.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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