Monday, May 14, 2012

175th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Paying A Little Tribute

One Can A Week is pure charity. The idea is to collect and donate every can and penny to the Community Food Bank; expecting nothing in return. This way, each participant knows his or her donation counts. Some people see this and my simple lifestyle and get their own pure charity ideas.

Three or four months into our program, Pauline Hechler, the former Director of Development at the Community Food Bank suggested I tell our One Can A Week story to the folks at Quaker Oats. Within a few weeks I got a grant that paid for signage on the Cabriolet and our collection carts plus a little gas money.

Two years later Pauline and the Food Bank helped pay for 60 or half of the One Can A Week can openers we passed out to our very supportive neighbors.

Kim Fuhrig, our 13th Street volunteer provided a number of free car wash coupons so I can keep our Cabrio icon sparkling.

In 2009, John Gallow, a friend and client was buying a new car for his daughter who had just graduated from college. Instead of turning in her 1992 Ford Taurus on a new purchase, John decided to give me that well-maintained auto to help with deliveries to the Food Bank. Before the Taurus gave up the ghost recently, it diligently carried over 19 tons of food to the Food Bank.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Beth Haggerty gave me three old laptops to fix or recycle. The last one I pulled out of its carrying case was an IBM ThinkPad with Windows 98. Immediately I though of another long-time friend whom I hadn’t seen in years.

Robb Goff and his lovely girl friend Lorna were my neighbors when I lived on Vernice Street near Kolb in the mid to late ‘90s. He used to fix ThinkPads and only ThinkPads to sell on eBay. How could I forget that? So when I saw that boxy black brick I sent him an email.

Robb’s reply a few days later explained he has moved on to things other than ThinkPads like real estate, and refitting his new home with all of the renewable and sustainable materials of a “very green house.” He is even doing all of the contracting himself. That’s the one thing I really like about Robb, he always goes with the flow. Back in the day, he was one of the first sellers on eBay and into computers at the dawning of Atari.

On my side of the catch-up email I talked a little bit about One Can A Week and that we met when I was new to Tucson and just 53, some 17 years ago.

I thought that would be the end of it for a while until maybe I ran into something solar that might interest Robb. I was wrong.

Five days later Robb sent me a very touching email.

“Wonderful blog. I read about your 1 can a week idea. This is very nice. I have been giving directly to the community food bank. I also give to the council of Indian Nations/Apache Junction. I would like to ask you if I may donate directly to you. Gas ain't cheap and your efforts, not spiritually, may go unpaid at times. Pete, can I send you a check to help? I would like you to use the funds as you see fit to aid you on your quest. Just give me your address. I would be glad to help the community directly and that my friend is you! Just send me your address and I can make the check out to you if that is OK. Happy birthday too!”

What got to me most is he remembered personal things about me, too, like I do whatever is necessary to move things forward even if I have to spend what little I have.

Two days later I opened the mailbox to find a check from Robb. It paid for the second half of the poster printing job and a whole bunch of future gas to deliver our donations to the Community Food Bank.

I’m plugging away on One Can A Week and enjoying every minute, but Robb’s and my other benefactors’ thoughtfulness, and more important, understanding, has reenergized this lumbering tortoise.

All Around Great Week
There was so much food and money this Sunday I had to ask my friend Frank Campillo—who lives on Manlove Street and owns a big red Toyota Tundra truck—to help me make my Monday morning run to the Community Food Bank. The Sunny D from Maen’s Axis Food Mart accounted for 460 lbs. of the weight.

We collected a total of 652 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $92.00, two checks for $80.00 and $12.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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