Monday, November 25, 2013

255th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

A Community Service Culture in the Making

We have all seen supermarkets help feed hungry families during the holidays with specially priced shopping bags of food their customers can purchase. But we’ve not seen anything like what just happened in the Sprouts Farmers Market on Speedway last week.

In addition to the One Can A Week program, Sprouts management introduced a $5.00 bag of food that contained a number of healthy items to create a couple of nourishing meals. They then placed them on the checkout stand for easy access. Within a few days the demand grew so great, Richard Rodriguez, the store manager, had to call the other Sprouts stores in town to get more shopping bags. They were able to help out because they were not selling as many bags as Richard.

How did they do it?  On Friday when I took the photo above, Richard and I had a few minutes to discuss the amazing situation. Studies reveal that companies with a strong community service commitment create a culture that brings out the best in their employees and their customers.

A couple of the cashiers were proving to be great at encouraging their customers to participate in the $5.00 bag program. The other cashiers saw what they were doing and followed suite. Suddenly all of the cashiers were making sales, even some multiple sales. “Give me 10 bags,” a lady said after checking out the mass of paper bags in the aisle and hearing what all the commotion was about.

Richard decided to display the bags going to the Community Food Bank up front to heighten the excitement—and equally important—make a statement. When management and staff work together to build a community service culture, there is not limit to the good that can be done for and by each and every customer.

In the mix, of course, is One Can A Week. Twelve weeks ago Richard and I introduced a low key and consistent community service program which has quietly built awareness. Even through all the excitement, customers were still dropping cans and packages goods in the bin surrounded by the $5.00 bags. The donations this week topped the bin and tipped the scales at 148 lbs.

After Thanksgiving there will be more shopping bags to purchase because there are just so many needy folks to help feed here in Tucson. Then in the New Year, One Can A Week will go back to what it does best. Keep customers and staff fully engaged in community service on a very pleasant and consistent basis. Of course we all want a better world so working community service into our culture will do just that...for everyone.

One Can A Week
Breaks into a Gated Community

Home Owner Associations in gated communities have many rules to maintain peace and quiet. No solicitation is at the top of the list. However, with so many families in trouble and the government cutting back on aid, Maen and his children decided to press the envelope a bit. They got permission to talk to their neighbors about One Can A Week at a neighborhood get together. Acceptance was pretty good.

Then two Sundays ago they started making the rounds to introduce the program to near by neighbors. Acceptance was pretty good there, too. This past Saturday Maen—relying on his marketing skills—posted a sign on the in and out gates telling folks he and the kids would stop by Sunday. To his surprise people he had not talked to yet put food out on their porches. Food was everywhere in his community and the kids went nuts. He told them they had to wait and pick it up in order or they would not remember the route for next Sunday.

In my first two weeks I collected around 40 lbs. of food for the Community Food Bank. In their first two weeks Maen, Petra, Rayah and Michael collected 242 lbs.

For the past few years Maen and I have been talking about ways to open up gated communities for One Can A Week. We knew they could make a significant difference in helping the needy in our city. Seems a sign on the gate every Saturday is the key along with a friendly group of kids knocking on neighbors’ doors.

The 15th Truck Load
On Monday there was nothing. Then by Sunday the truck was jammed. Not sure how that happens but I like it.

This week’s donations amounted to 630 lbs. and included Sheva Vista, 60 lbs.;  Sprouts (Speedway), 148 lbs.; Miles Neighborhood, 180 lbs. and River View Estates, 242 lbs. 

New CEO at the Community Food Bank
Michael McDonald, former Executive Director here in Tucson for Habitat for Humanity International (the U.S.’s 14th largest home builder) will join the food bank in January. Really looking forward to meeting him. Click on the link to read his very interesting bio.

We collected a total of 180 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $30.00, a $25.00 check and $5.00 in cash. 

See you Sunday,


No comments:

Post a Comment