Monday, December 16, 2013

258th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Gaining Momentum
Here, Vail and New Jersey, too.

Can tree in Millburn, New Jersey
captures the holiday spirit.
Photo by Ari Kaplan
Millburn, New Jersey
For most of my career I chased a “hit” not “bucks”. The allure is a hit seldom happens but when it does there is nothing like the experience of creating something that million upon millions of folks like. A greeting card line, a TV show, lots of books, and a USB pet ID tag top the list of my creative forays into Hitsville. Things sold but never really took off. The greeting card line was close. Unfortunately the Japanese market crashed just as we were getting started in the country and that crushed our chances.

Now the one idea that makes no money—but is turning out to be the best reward ever—helps feed thousands upon thousands of hungry kids and their parents. That idea, One Can A Week is making noises just like it may be a “hit”.

Photo by Ari Kaplan
Ari Kaplan and his daughter Hannah are moving into new territory. In an email earlier in the week Ari wrote: “As you know, for the past two years, Hannah and I have been collecting cans in our neighborhood.  We have about 20 homes on our list and usually pick up about 10 cans each Sunday. Every few weeks, we drop off the cans at the local Red Cross food pantry at a church nearby.

“A few weeks ago, I made a presentation to the Wyoming Elementary School PTO (Parent Teachers Organization) and the principal at our elementary school suggesting that we expand the program to the school and encourage children to bring in a can every week. I promised to take care of all of the logistics - e.g., buying the clear plastic bins and taking the cans to the pantry, with Hannah's help, of course. In our first week alone, we collected over 40 cans from the school program (essentially quadrupling our weekly numbers) and we made the attached can tree, which seemed to have a holiday image to it :)

“I mentioned it to the PTO president at another school and hope to expand it even further in 2014.”

Academy Village in Vail, Arizona
Merv and Judi Wingard are approaching their one year One Can A Week anniversary with some very good news. On December 3rd I received a call from Mark Tate, a volunteer at Greater Vail Community Services Branch of Catalina Community Services. He wanted to know if their newly opened branch of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona in Vail could be the drop off point for the Academy Village donations. The answer is yes, of course, In our meeting on the 27th, we will discuss Academy Village donations and more important, how to expand One Can A Week into schools and other communities in Vail. Great way to start the New Year.

Old Ft. Lowell Neighborhood
A couple of week back Frank Flash replied to my post on gratitude. He wrote: “Attacks of Gratitude captures a feeling that is hard to describe but is so fulfilling. I was on my way to a model railroad club meeting on Sunday and I think I saw you in your truck going West on Broadway. I think I am going to need a truck soon as the volume of food people are giving is growing. We have 14 HOA's working with us in the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood. It is starting to become a bit competitive between the HOA champions (participants).

The 18th Truck Load
Next week there will be another Sprouts on the donation list. After meeting with Richard Rodriguez the new manager of Sprouts- North Oracle we decided to set up One Can A Week on Wednesdays (coupon day). This means a new donation bin, new signage and a whole bunch of new participants. Yes!        
This week’s donations amounted to 570 lbs. and included River View Estates, 110 lbs.;  Sprouts (Speedway), 78 lbs.; Miles School, 188 lbs., and Miles Neighborhood, 194 lbs.

Chub is Back
My last stop on E. Manlove Street near S. Cherry Street is the Ellinwood Family. As I got out of my truck a scruffy looking orange tabby cat crossed the road in front of me. He (I guessed his gender because my vet says 80% of orange tabbies are male) slowed down and began meowing as soon as he hit the driveway. “Is that Al’s cat?” I muttered aloud. We thought we lost him to a rogue dog or coyote weeks ago.

It was, matted hair and all. I scooped him up and drive him to Al’s home immediately and called Al, who is still in the hospital, right after finishing my route. A happy day for all three of us.   

We collected a total of 194 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $36.00, a $25.00 check and $11.00 in cash. 

See you Sunday,


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