Monday, January 7, 2013

209th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
A Thing of Beauty...

Even Adam likes to extend a paw
 “Benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” is how Merriam-Webster defines charity. What the Merriam-Webster folks leave out is “while expecting or desiring nothing in return.”

When I started One Can A Week my goal was to make our neighborhood program a pure charity. In other words, everything donated by my participants goes directly to the Food Bank. Every penny and every can or food product. If I needed something to help me do a better job, I would just make it know but still press on as things are.

My friend John gave me his 1992 Taurus which helped me collect and deliver to the Food Bank more than 40 thousand pounds of food. The car died this past summer and the responsibility fell to the aging Cabriolet. It, too, succumbed to the weight of the food a couple of months ago.

In the meantime, I used my Cabriolegs—what a friend called my two-wheeled dolly—to collect the donations on Sundays. Then a rotating list of friends, including Maen, Hugh, Kym, Mike and John helped with Monday morning deliveries. On Saturday, a neighbor friend handed me the keys to her sturdy and well maintained 1998 Chevrolet S10 and wished me well in my endeavor to help hungry parents and kids here in Tucson.

The world is mostly egocentric … survival of the fittest, as it were, but I don’t want to live like that. We’re out of the jungle and somewhat sophisticated so I want my world to revolve around people helping people to live more useful and productive lives.

I give my time and energy to help my neighbors help lots of needy folks. My friend gave me a truck to help me help even more neighbors. This world I am living in now is not a new idea. In fact it probably was born thousands upon thousands of years ago when the first philosopher said, “Hey, here’s a neat concept, put down your slings and arrows and let’s do unto others…”

It’s a new year and a new time for all of us to think about a way out of the mess we are in. Look around and then like my friend who had an extra truck in her driveway, find someone who can do a lot of good for his or her family or his or her neighborhood and make it happen. Welcome to my world.

Doing Good in a Not-so-good Year
2012 was tough on nearly everyone but the folks who dine and shop at the Rincon Market made life a little easier for hungry kids and parents in Tucson. With their nickels, dimes and dollars dropped into the Community Food Bank of Arizona’s donation jar, they paid for 5,342 lbs. of food. This amount was over a half a ton more (1,212 lbs.) than they donated in 2011. Even small change on a consistent basis matters.

If it’s Still Sunday
Roberto and Arnold left home early Sunday morning so they were gone most of the day. This meant they missed making their regular donation to the Food Bank. However, they just happened to run into me at the Axis Food Mart later that afternoon. As they picked up their Budweiser, they also grabbed a can of corn off the shelf and handed it to me. You could tell by their smiles they felt a whole lot better. Me, too.

We collected a total of 166 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $26.00, a $25.00 check and $1.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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