Tuesday, September 3, 2013

243rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Table Talk 
Melanie spoke as if she were a slightly depressed forty-year-old comedian. Each sentence was filled with information and lots of irony. I was laughing most of the time we talked. 

It all started when she walked up to my table at Sprouts and dropped $6.00 in the collection basket.

“A couple of years ago” she began, “I moved in with my mother in Colorado to provide hospice care and it nearly killed me … really, because she was so mean.” Melanie told a few more stories that involved career moves, fund raising jobs and medical misadventures.

“I had this doctor who took me off my pain medication saying once I stopped the pills the pain would go away. It didn’t. What kind of doctor is that? So I got a new doctor.”

About 10 minutes into her mostly one sided dialog Melanie looked around to see if there were other folks who wanted to talk. “Listen, I’m taking your time,” she said. She reached in her wallet and put another dollar in the basket.

At the end of our conversation thirty minutes had passed. Based on her $7.00 donation I earned 23¢ a minute. If she had stayed for the full 4 hours, I could have garnered $55.20 for the food bank.

When Melanie left, a woman with a full shopping cart slowly walked by and then stopped. As I quickly explained One Can A Week she backed her cart up and stood directly in front of me. She thought a second and volunteered that once she needed the food bank because things were very rough.

“I’ll go back in and buy some things,” she promised as she pushed her shopping cart into the store.

A few minutes later she returned to the checkout line with lots of cans and packaged goods like macaroni and cheese. There was so much it took several trips by both of us to transfer the food from the checkout counter to the collection box.

“I want to give back, “she said over her shoulder while guiding her cart toward the front door.”Others have told me similar stories. They were in trouble and the food bank helped them out. Now that things are better a simple reminder of those days makes them immediately open their hearts and pocketbooks.

And no matter how many folks and politicians say those in trouble are nothing but takers, the real truth is most Americans are givers. When life turns the tables on them they work like hell not to be poor so they can again share.

Video AnniversaryMolly Thrasher published our One Can A Week video on September 11, 2012. Right now we have 1,125 views, with 75 of those happening in the last 30 days. Maybe folks are now looking around for some fun, easy and important community service to do. Let’s just hope so.

We collected a total of 144 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $11.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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