Monday, December 17, 2012

206th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

It’s beginning! Last week there were two calls for a pickup. Victoria Cortinas, Contract Administrator at the Department of Procurement and Rosi Andrade, Associate Research Professor, at the Southwest Institute for Research on Women had brimming Community Food Bank collection boxes and need help. Victoria’s organization donated 90 lbs. of food and $20 in cash while Rosi’s institute gave 86 lbs. in food. Together they feed 45 folks three meals in one day.

The best part of the pickup was both Victoria and Rosi were quite excited to be involved in the Mayor’s One Can A Meeting Program.

Just Wait
Every writer has a gnawing feeling as a deadline approaches that maybe this time the idea spigot will stop trickling out suggestions. Today was my day. I had nothing … but I didn’t let it get to me. Well, maybe only a little. I could have done without all those cookies.

By 4:00 PM I had two stories that merit telling. Whew, that was the closest so far.

Adam is barking to let everyone on 13th Street and Santa Rita know that the
wonderful green barrels have arrived.
 3:28 PM – About two weeks ago I sent an email to Nanette Reynolds and Larry Robinson at the Pima County Regional Flood Control District requesting waste disposal barrels for the grassy section on the corner of 13th Street and Santa Rita. I hadn’t heard back so I called today around 11:00 AM to personally present my request. Nanette who is always so helpful said she would do some follow up.

She called back in the afternoon and told me there would be at least 4 barrels in that area and one or two will go on duty today.

I took a walk with Adam around 4:15 PM to get a photo of a barrel already in the Arroyo and ran into Mary Kathryn who was out walking with her son Liam, too. I got the photo and continued on to 13th Street.

That Arroyo path is even more pleasant with lucid company so we ended up at our destination more quickly than I anticipated. At the far end of the grassy plot I spotted the green barrel and to my surprise I was really quite excited to see a painted oil drum chained to a rail.

The Miles Neighborhood really needs the Arroyo Chico Park and those green barrels are the best way to keep the property clean and healthy and fun for everyone. Now I’m going to see what is happening with the community garden.

A small dent that did not turn into a big deal.
10:30 AM - As I walked down the ramp to the new Ford van Steve Furhig, Kym’s husband, generously offered to cart our donations to the Food Bank, a Mac truck drive named Jose walked up to me.

The bay next to the ramp was empty when we took the food carts into the warehouse, but now there was a monstrous truck parked there.

“Is that your van?” he asked. I nodded.

“I scraped the back end as I backed up,” he continued. “I’ll pay for it personally because my deduction is $1,000.”

Steve walked by me quickly and got into the van. I called but had to go get him. His first reaction to the news and the sight of the damage was a bit excited. “Oh, no, it’s a brand new van,” he moaned, dancing away and throwing his hands in the air.

He quickly calmed down and soon phone numbers and names were exchanged. The Food Bank documents all accidents on their property so a staffer got involved, too.

As that went on I talked to the Jose and praised him for stepping up. That was big of him. He told me that in the past he was a very angry man and had many scrapes and scraps with the law but he “came to know the Lord” and now he always does the right thing no matter if his first reaction is to slide.

Of course, everybody’s first reaction is to slide but it is the brave and the strong who face up to life. We need more men like Jose on our roads and more men like Steve who can wrestle their emotions to the ground in seconds.

Two More Weeks to Go
Our collection on December 30th will mark the fourth year we have donated weekly to the Community Food Bank. We are going to surpass last year’s donations, but perhaps we can do it in a big way. For the next two Sundays, maybe you can give just a little more. And as you know just a little more, on a consistent basis, makes a huge difference.

We collected a total of 160 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $81.00, two checks for $75.00 and $6.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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