Monday, December 12, 2011

153rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

After 400 She Stopped Counting
Lorraine Aguilar stands beside one of the largest of many hundreds of nativity scenes that decorate her Miles Street home during the Christmas holiday. She is such a cheerful lady I wanted to capture her very warm smile in the photo but she became a bit involved in that “my picture is being taken thing.” “Cheese” wasn’t going to work so I said, just before I snapped the shutter, “Now tell yourself a dirty story.” Got it!
For the past 46 years, The St. Augustine Cathedral celebrates “Las Posadas” in neighborhoods around Tucson and the Aguilar Family is one of the homes the peregrinos or pilgrims look forward to visiting. The moment you enter Lorraine’s home you are surrounded with literally hundreds of nativity scenes in different sizes and design from around the world. They are on shelves and in cabinets and along the wall so no matter where you turn, your eyes are dazzled with images of the First Christmas. Lorraine said they stopped counting “after they bought their 400th nativity scene.”

“’Las Posadas’ (shelter) is a traditional Christmas Novena” the St. Augustine Cathedral bulletin states, that “commemorates the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their seeking shelter in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

“’Las Posadas’ is a nine day procession of the faithful carrying the statues of the Holy Family while reciting and singing traditional prayers and songs. It was instituted in Acolman, Mexico, in 1587 by Fray Diego de Soria who wished to introduce a Christian Christmas devotion to the newly converted Aztec Indians. …This novena is still celebrated in Mexico and in many Hispanic communities throughout the world today.”

The host families this year in the Miles Neighborhood are the Cota-Robles Family on 12th Street and the Altamirano Family on Miles Street.

The event begins at 6:45 pm, Tuesday, December 20th on the Southwest Corner of Miles and Vine Streets.

Whether you are a member of the St. Augustine Cathedral or not, “Las Posadas” is a wonderful family event and a reminder in this age of technology and gadgets that “peace on earth” is still the best gift we can give each other.

Fortune Smiles
The first leg of my rounds Sunday was “unremarkable” as the doctors say but then I got a call from Barbara on 12th Street who was heading out to church and wanted to know when I would stop by. She has a $500.00 check she did not want to leave with the food at Lenny’s house. Lenny, too, was away celebrating a family birthday.

Turns out the check was written by Patricia, Lenny’s sister who manages a non-profit and this year they selected the Community Food Bank for a contribution.

That was not the end of it. After I completed my rounds at 2:15, I drove up to my Ford to unload and along the full length of the back bumper was a row of shopping bags. Kym had dropped off her 13th Street collection and it was maybe four times more than usual. In fact, she had to make a mid-round break to empty her Radio Flyer wagon because it was getting too heavy.

Kym told me that her neighbors across the street had a party Saturday night and the price of admission was a can or more for the Community Food Bank.

We collected a total of 276 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $606.50, $550.00 checks and $56.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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