Monday, July 9, 2012

183rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Hungry for Ideas
Research for Thursday’s Mayor Rothschild meeting

Beyond Bread lunch with Terri Contapay, (left) Peter,
Frank Fresch and John Gallow.

With their “no solicitation” rules Home Owner Associations are a unique bump in the road when it comes to expanding our One Can A Week program. However, I met with three folks last Thursday who are successfully making inroads into their Home Owner Associations. Terri Contapay and Frank Fresch live in the Old Ft. Lowell neighborhood. Terrie sets up a special red wagon near the mail boxes once a week

Frank asks folks to bring a can of food to the Home Owner Association meetings. They do not go door to door because that is a little distasteful to them. Of course they were also disappointed with the minimal response they are getting. They feel embarrassed approaching their neighbors. I suggested that that was one of the reasons for the decline in community interaction.

I told them about meeting with the Mayor and the possibility of starting The Red Umbrella Corps which they would automatically attain charter member status. Terri liked that and said something interesting. She would knock on her neighbors’ doors “if she had more power” and The Red Umbrella Corps would give her that power.

John, who is a professional salesman and lives in Ventana Canyon said he knows about the insecure feelings Frank and Terri are experiencing. He suggested they talk to their neighbors as they walk their dogs in the neighborhood or at neighborhood gatherings. And instead of placing a box some place why not say, “Listen, would it be okay if I stop by your house Saturday and pick up some food for the food bank. I can do that every Saturday.”

It’s a slow build which fits right into our One Can A Week philosophy. Go slowly, be consistent and very considerate.

I love that idea and I’m now ready for the Mayor if he asks how we approach Home Owner Associations. Frank and Terri like that idea, too, and I think they are going to try it.

Dot is a very strategic thinker. So our breakfast meeting Saturday morning at the Rincon Market was challenging and fun. I know all about One Can A Week so it’s how we present our program to the mayor will make or break us.

Dot’s big question to me was, “How do you see yourself in the program? Are you looking for a job? Do you want to run it?”

Told you she is strategic.

“Heck, no,” I said. “I’m an idea person and I can make a pilot program work. But running a big organization is not in my skill set. That is why I want the Mayor to take over. He runs a big city. He can run One Can A Week easily.”

Rincon Market breakfast with Dot Kret and Peter.
Just before we took this photo, Don Overall handed me a
dollar for One Can A Week and I handed him a camera.
Photo by Don Overall.
Besides the tasty eggs and sweet roll, my words got the meeting off to a great start.
In essence, what I want to demonstrate with our One Can A Week program is that citizens along with the government can work together to solve most of our social ills. Citizens provide the brains and muscle and the government provides brains and efficient, big time project management.

With our current cynical political attitude most of you are laughing by now. But we have shown that we can partner to build things. In 1956, I was a kid and remember what the roads were like in this country. Then the crews hit he streets and fields and mountains. What a system those guys built … together.

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is taking the same approach…making decisions to make New Yorkers’ lives better. No more
transfats, no more smoking in buildings and no more 44 oz. sugar drinks. (You can have all of the 44 oz. diet drinks you want.)

He’s building a healthy American city. And like President Eisenhower who also built a healthy America, Mayor Rothschild can eliminate hunger here in Tucson and build vibrant, committed community service neighborhoods at the same time.

On the citizen side, thousands upon thousands of Tucsonans will gladly jump into The Red Umbrella Corps program to help because we know they all want their city to be famous for something other than supermarket shootings and “Papers, please” laws.

Together we can do some good!

More Than One Can A Week
First there was Sarah and Parker who donated a lot of good quality canned dog food. Then Ed had potatoes and Barbara her usual load of bananas. After lunch Councilman Fimbres and his wife Mary had pound upon pound of beans and juice. When Kym showed up with a watermelon our donations jumped across the 200 lb. mark.

We collected a total of 247 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $31.50, a $25.00 check and $6.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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