Monday, March 11, 2013

218th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Three successful ways
to collect One Can A Week
without going door-to-door

On Tuesday, The Miles School, The Rincon Market and Ward 6 called for a
pick up. Each has a different and effective way to succeed with One Can
A Week.
Successful patterns of behavior are often described in a word or a phrase as a way to help everyone make the right decision. For instance, buy low, sell high or never look a gift horse in the mouth. When it comes to One Can A Week, coordinated consistency is what makes all the difference in the world.

Initially One Can A Week started out as a neighborhood program where door-to-door pick up and delivery service was an essential ingredient. It still is and proves to be the most productive method of food collection. However, if someone just concentrates on coordinating a One Can A Week program on a consistent basis in a non neighborhood environment, he or she will be quite successful. Three cases in point:

The Miles School
For the past three years the Miles School has had two coordinators: Rebecca Lipson and Tiffany Kassel. Both are strong managers and both have been very consistent even though our economy is quite sluggish. This week Tiffany had 46 lbs. of food and surprisingly, $119.60 in cash.
Ward 6
Councilman Steve Kozachik along with his assistant Molly Thrasher, who is also our One Can A Week videographer, encourages every visitor to donate food each time he or she attends a meeting in any one of their three very pleasant conference rooms. And it makes no difference if the meeting is Ward 6 business or a community art class.

As I walked into the building to make the pick up, Steve was standing in the entrance way and asked, “Did you bring your can of food?” In addition to running a strong One Can A Week program, Councilman Kozachik also likes to make folks smile.

The Rincon Market
The process is simple. Customers drop coins and dollar bills into the food bank collection jar as they pay for their meals. Throughout the week, Ron Abbott, the owner of the Rincon Market keeps an eye on the jar’s contents. On Saturday, I wrap the coins and purchase food from their grocery store. Ron, too, is very consistent and takes his coordinator role very seriously.

With one in six Americans experiencing food insecurity now, more and more folks will step up to help. And those who take the One Can A Week approach are assured success if they simply become predictable and dependable.

If anybody can make
a neighborhood drop off program work,
Frank Flasch is the guy
Right away Frank Flasch, who lives in the Old Ft. Lowell Neighborhood, took a different approach to One Can A Week. He called his program The One can a week - Four cans a month TEAM. He also calls his volunteers Champions, not coordinators. That was back in September, 2011. Frank was also a strong proponent of having his neighbors drop off their donations at the monthly community meeting.

I alerted Frank to the fact that his participation might be less than the 50% we experience if he does not pick up the food every Sunday. Undaunted Frank pressed forward.

The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood consists mostly of Home Owner Associations. To date Frank has engaged 9 of those associations in his program plus he has three more waiting in the wings. In addition, there is a drop off box at the San Pedro Chapel.

The first year was slow going but Frank is never one to give up and his consistency is beginning to pay off. In the first two months of this year, his neighbors have contributed 1,081 lbs. of food and $485 in cash to the Community Food Bank. This is very solid growth for Frank’s program.

In addition, Frank is building his community because now a significant number of his neighbors are working together and talking about one unifying project.

My whole drive is to collect as much food as possible but I have to admit building a community—as Frank is endeavoring to do—is just as important.

Congratulations, Frank, on the great job you are doing.

The Miles School Community Service Day
in the Neighborhood

Thursday, March 1

Rebecca Lipson, the original One Can A Week coordinator at the Miles School is encouraging her students to participate in even more community service activities.

Rebecca’s project is just like One Can A Week except it’s for dog and cats … not people.

The Hope Animal Shelter, Tucson’s only no-kill animal shelter is looking for food donations. (If you don’t already know, the shelter is quite close to our neighborhood at 2011 E. 12th Street, just a few steps east of Safeway.)

On Thursday the students will gladly come to your home to pick up donations which you may also leave on your porch.

They are looking for Authority brand dog food, Fancy Feast canned cat food and Pine/Feline Pine cat litter. All these brands are carried at PetsMart or Trader Joes.

If you want to meet some conscientious Miles School students and donate to their Hope Animal Shelter cause, please drop me an email or call me at 520-248-3694. We will make sure you are on the list for a visit this Thursday morning.

Keeping our neighborhood safe

Last Tuesday I accompanied Larry Robison from the Pima County Flood Control District and Mary Lucking, the Tuffets artist, around the Park to select appropriate sites for the 8 charming seats. That was 11 am.

I was back again around 4 pm walking Adam when I noticed two people setting up two huge tents in the ravine. I calmly suggested they not do that because camping is prohibited in any Tucson park. If they did not move the police would come.

The young lady told me to go away which I did. However I called the police. Within 20 minutes two patrol cars showed up. I was impressed and wanted to say thank you and do something special for the incredibly quick response. Rossana talked to her son who is a police office and he said "we are just doing our job...there is no need other than a hello or wave to let us know we are appreciated."

These words reminded me of something my folks always told me to do when I was a kid so I created a little flyer we handed out Sunday.

“Wave to the nice police officer.”

Heard that a lot when I was a kid. My folks were trying to teach me respect for people, authority and a caring world.

It worked.

So when I had to call the police Tuesday to help extract some homeless people who just set up two large tents in our Park’s ravine, I did not hesitate. Others I talked to later who had seen the same homeless people did not call the police because they were concerned about retaliation or just plain did not want to get involved.

Thanks to my folks police are my friends, and like my big kid friends back in school, they protect me from the nonsense of the world. I’ll never hesitate to call the police when I or any of my neighbors get in trouble.

The next time you see a police officer in the neighborhood, think about what Howard and Mabel Norback said and “wave to the nice police officer.”

We collected a total of 174 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $58.00, a $50.00 check and $8.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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