Monday, January 6, 2014

261st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Want to do a little bit of community service
and still make a big difference? 
Just stand here ... quietly.

Randy, the assistant manager at the Sprouts on Oracle was about to walk by the display table when I stopped him. “It’s amazing, all I do is just stand here and people drop off their donations. I don’t say a thing. One older lady, maybe in her late 80’s, slowly walked up and dropped $10 in the wicker basket.”

Randy smiled, turned and walked away. I just needed to tell someone and he knew it. Even thought I have been doing this kind of community service for several years now, I am still amused by the small effort I have to exert to collect so much food. The marketer in me thinks I should have to jump through many more hoops to entice folks to participate. They just read the sign and reach into their pocket or cart.

At the end of my 4-hour shift on Wednesday I quickly packed up and headed for my truck in the parking lot right outside the door. As I hoisted the first few bags of food from the shopping cart into the truck bed I noticed a large, stuffed bag that was shoved up against the cab. On top sat a smaller bag with a pair of child’s slippers inside.

When I found Richard Rodriguez, the store manager, he was seated in his office. “Look at all this stuff I found in my truck.” He, too, smiled (a reaction you often get at Sprouts).

“When do you want to set up One Can A Week in the other stores?” Richard asked. “You should get that going.”

In the past few days I have been thinking very hard about two things: Finding volunteers and finding a sponsor. I cannot go into more Sprouts stores without either in place.

To answer the budget question I put together a cost spreadsheet. (See below). The one surprise to me was how much I spent to get things “going” at Speedway.
Good thing the $1,000 plus didn’t happen all at once like Richard’s request. 

Now I really need a sponsor or a crowd sourcing idea to bring all of the Sprouts supermarkets online.

The volunteers may be an equally perplexing problem as the dollars are, but now that I am established in two Sprouts supermarkets (Speedway on Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm and Oracle, Wednesdays, 2 – 6 pm); I cordially invite anyone who might be interested in giving back just a little every week to join me for a trial run. Besides the delicious soup array—which I partake in every week—you will see what a joy it is. When folks walk up to tell you they just love having you and the Community Food Bank in their story every week, that’s when you know “this is what fun is all about.”

Taking Care of an Old Obligation
A couple of weeks ago a Sprouts customer told me she owed the Community Food Bank a donation. Someone who worked for her turned down a paycheck and instead insisted she make a donation to the food bank. Saturday the customer showed up with a $150 check which I turned in today.

This is another example of how folks at Sprouts are taking advantage of the convenience of One Can A Week. No more chasing down addresses, envelopes or stamps. Just drop off your food or check donation by Saturday and Monday it gets delivered.

We collected a total of 138 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $51.00, a $25.00 check and $26.00 in cash.

See you Sunday


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