Monday, June 10, 2013

231st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Reaching Out

This is my friend Beth Haggerty. She and her husband Terry saved my life once.

In 2000 I was an independent contractor for the State of Arizona helping Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) folks get back into the working world by showing them how to market themselves more effectively. Beth, an NLP Therapist, helped me land that job because she needed help with one very important and special client.

A year an a half later the world came to an end when 911 happened or at least my world did. I went through Plan A, B and C trying to find work. To no avail. Plan D was to join my younger brother on his wife’s farm in Missouri and help him build his pet food home delivery business. The living was comfortable but the pay was family pay…room and board. Also I was not into nights out at the Elks Club or Tiger Woods jokes. (I shutter to think of what it would have been like the past 5 years with President Obama in the White House?)

Anyway, I was beginning to feel like an indentured servant with no way out. Even my Cabriolet was hobbled in the barn with its oil canister mount lying on a workbench near by.

Then one night I got an idea. I’d modified one of my marketing strategies and send an email to 20 or so friends in Tucson.

If you are talking to a friend or close associate about finding work, you never ask that person directly if he or she has a job for you. This puts them on the spot and a “no” kills the conversation.

However, if you ask them a question like—“Do you know someone who may be looking for help and could you pass my resume along?”—this eliminates pressure on all sides and helps your friends think of ways to help. They may have a job they could talk themselves into giving you but it won’t happen if you are standing right in front of them.

In my “reaching out” email I could not be so general so I picked someone who probably could not help at all and sent her the email explaining my dire situation. Then I put everyone else in the cc: box.

It worked. Beth and Terry had a guest house they were always talking about fixing up and renting but the motivation just wasn’t there. To go through the fix-up and then the rent-to-a-stranger scenario was just distasteful to them. Then Beth got my “Do you know someone” email.

The next day I got a reply from Beth telling me about their plans and that I could take possession of my new home in 30 days. When I told my brother and his wife the news they helped me fix my car and get packed. Guess I wasn’t the only one sick of the situation.

It’s been a little over 10 years now and I’m still delighted with my the little space that saved me.

Up to this incident, I needed no help taking care of myself. I always thought of something to escape from the grasp of the Blue Meanie. But being stripped of my earning power I became trapped. My mind thought of the answer to get out of trouble, but I had to totally rely on someone else.

This acceptance of the reality that I have to depend on others when in need—reach out, in other words—opened up a totally new world for me. In this enlightened state of mind I was able to create One Can A Week where I help thousands of folks, but I need a tremendous amount of help from my neighbors to succeed.

Beth and Terry not only saved me with their little guest house, they showed me that in all of the stages of life on this planet we need the help of others. The sooner we all reach out to help or to be helped the better it will be for all of us. Myself, I now like doing both at the same time.

Five full trucks since January – Just two weeks ago we talked about how unusual it was to
have so many stuffed trucks in such a short period of time. Now we have another one weighing in at 474 lbs.

Ward 6 and its One Can A Meeting Program – For a couple of years now Council Member Steve Kozachik and his staff collect lots of food for the Community Food Bank by simply asking their constituents to donate a can of food every time they use the free meeting rooms. The idea caught on and just today Ward 6 donated 248 lbs. of food. This happens nearly every other month. The photo above shows what a little bit of effort and a lot of commitment can do.

2013 Summer Newsletter
On Saturday you received the Miles Neighborhood newsletter in the mail. The Tucson Housing & Community Development Department was kind enough to pay for the printing and the mailing of the piece.

Be sure to check it out. There are a number of interesting neighborhood updates and a neighborhood meeting schedule you can tape to the refrigerator.

We collected a total of 142 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $13.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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