Monday, August 12, 2013

240th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Kids … Community Service … One Can A Week
They Work Great Together!

Ari Kaplan who lives in New Jersey, decided in October, 2011 he and his 6-year-old daughter Hannah would start their own One Can A Week program for a local Red Cross pantry. The first photo Ari sent to me captured that exhilarating moment when Hannah sees the can her neighbor left out for her to collect. This is the thrill of One Can A Week. In this unpredictable world where forgetting is as common as breathing in and breathing out, having someone help you meet a commitment you’ve made to help others is a very special feeling indeed. Every time you see a neighbor’s donation waiting for you, it gives you hope that the world is really okay. It gives you the drive to press on. And it instills in your soul the thought that always doing the right thing is really the right thing to do.

In a Human Resources survey, LinkedIn learned that 41% of the hiring authorities they spoke to considered volunteer experience as important as paid experience. Apparently a lot of parents of young children already are aware of this “fact of life” and are looking for ways to help prepare their kids for a brighter future.

In the past three weeks at Sprouts, the one question I heard the most was, “I’m looking for a community service project for my child. Can kids get into One Can A Week?” I tell them it’s easy, fun and the whole family can get involved if they like.
The most important part is the kids own the project and they enhance their people skills every time they go out and collect their donations.

Late in July, Ari sent me another update on Hannah’s One Can A Week project. She is nearly 8-years-old now and gets more involved in discussions.

"Hannah and I made another delivery this weekend of about 50 cans. Before we got to the food pantry at the church, where the Red Cross stores its food, I asked her how many other deliveries she thought would be there. She paused and tentatively said, "none?" "That's right," I said because very few people would sacrifice their Sunday afternoon in the summer to deliver cans of food that they had just picked up from neighborhood porches to help feed the less fortunate. We both smiled. She asked me how long we have been collecting - when I told her that in October it will be two years, I think we were both surprised."

Oh, and one more point about getting involved in a One Can A Week community service project with your child ... both of you will end up on the same page when it comes to dong the right thing.

Turning Trash Into Cans
The tall security guard at Sprouts, clipboard in hand, moved with a sense of urgency in the front aisle that provides the spillway for the seven checkout lanes and access to the automatic doors on either side of the store. He was always looking and always moving not unlike Richard the store manager when he was on the floor.

Around 1 a.m. I began to pack up the display table. The guard walked up to me and said, “During the week folks throw trash in your bin.” He continued to look around in different directions while he stood still next to me. “I tell them it is for food donations not trash. Guess they don’t see or read the sign.”

I thanked him and said, “Here’s an idea, tell them if they throw trash in the bin they have to go back into the store and buy a can to donate here.”

“I’m going to do that,” he said with a big grin.

I smiled, too. “Humor always works when you are trying to motivate folks.”

"Yes it does," he said as he moved off to continue his prowl.

Sprouts is starting to add up quickly
We began our Saturday One Can A Week program just three weeks ago and so far we have collected a total of 238 lbs. of food. In other words, Sprouts fed 61 folks three meals in one day. Imagine what the figures will be like in a year.

We collected a total of 174 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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