Monday, August 5, 2013

239th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

Karla Avalos-Soto was already in the conference room with a guest but she invited me in anyway to empty the food bank box. “There’s a lot of food in there this time,” she said.

As I dove into the deep box Mayor Rothschild walked into the room. I stood up and apologized for delaying the start of his meeting but he assured me it was okay.

In my attempt too hurry, I fumbled and dropped many of the can on the floor while trying to stuff them into those flimsy, long handled shopping bags. Eventually I lifted the three bulging bags and squeezed by the Mayor’s chair at the head of the table.

“Keep up the good work,” he said as I quickly moved out into the reception area. 

“You, too, Mayor” I thought but was not composed enough to utter those words aloud then … so I’ll say them here now.

Mayor Rothschild’s One Can A Meeting Program donated 48 lbs. of food to the food bank this week. 

More than Cans and Cash ...
There's Opportunity at Sprouts

With the routine, regularity and stream of familiar customers at the Rincon Market for the past three years, I completely forgot about a very important element in the marketing of One Can A Week. New customers means new and exciting opportunities.

My M.O. is to stand behind the display table so as not to physically confront those walking by. I watch their eyes and if they slow a bit to read the large sign on the front of the table I wait a moment until they almost push their shopping carts passed the table and then ask, "Have you heard of this program?

They can turn their head, smile, nod and keep on walking which many do. The question stops the truly curious and intrigued.

After a brief explanation of the Miles Neighborhood program I mention that I am bringing One Can A Week to the folks at Sprouts because I believe “business can solve most of our social ills.” Then I quickly delve in the capitalist approach to One Can A Week.

One young lady was quite delighted to hear these words and said “I totally agree with you” a couple of times as if she did not say that phrase very often. I just had to tell her I was a “serious liberal” but I, too, think business and community service, not government, will move our country forward.   

She then told me she was a conservative and that her husband was a liberal so they do not talk much about politics. The fun part in our conversation was that she had not thought about solving social problems without a political filter. As she left to do her shopping she said she would stop by with a can on the way. And that happened.

A short time later, Nicole and her young son were stopped by my trolling question. Her motivation to talk was her son. She wanted to get him involved with some sort of community service program even though he was just 6 or 7.

After I told Nicole about the many avenues one can take with One Can A Week she excitedly told me she worked for Dun & Bradstreet as a Senior Sales Trainer and thought it was a program her company would be interested in. We exchanged business cards and Nicole said she would check out our blog and video.
The theory “business will solve many of our social ills” may be just that, a theory, but there are now so many anecdotal indications—like Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines fame funding social/business startups—that someday soon it may prove to be a fact. I, for one, will not stop experimenting until I hit upon the right formula.

Everybody Out
Tom told me as I pushed the cart up on the scales at the food bank that they were about to hold a fire drill. He was right. The bell sounded and we all walked out of the warehouse door and around the east side of the building heading for the front entrance.

My dad who was into time study told me once that some engineers timed people leaving the building in just such a fire drill. The building was emptied in 15 minutes. Those same engineers hung around until the end of the day and clocked the folks when the quitting bell rung. The building was vacated in less than a minute. Now that makes perfect sense.

We collected a total of 136 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $32.00, a $25.00 check and $7.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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