Monday, January 13, 2014

262nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

The Good News Goes On and On and On

Great Way to Get Kids Stuck on One Can A WeekAri Kaplan and his daughter Hannah, who live in Millburn, New Jersey, have reached a new plateau in their efforts to playfully encourage more One Can A Week participants. They are spending their energy and a little bit of money to start a colorful sticker program in Hannah’s Wyoming Elementary School.

How it works is One Can A Week simple. Every time a student remembers to bring a can to school, he or she is given a “cool” sticker.

If teachers or parents want to start such a program in their school, Ari will be happy to help. Just send him an email at

A Sign of Good Times AheadWhen mounting the new fourth quarter sign at Sprouts on Saturday I remembered our struggle over the past three years to establish One Can A Week as a viable business/food drive concept in a large supermarket chain. When I say “we” I mean Richard Rodriguez, Rosemary Chacon and now, Theresa Hippler, the new manager at Sprouts – Speedway who picked up right were Richard left off. Theresa encouraged me to hang the new banner but leave the old one so customers can see how their donations really add up quickly.

John Burroughs, who was quite instrumental in fostering conservation in America once wrote, "For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no primises to pay, but the gold of real service." My thoughts, exactly.

More Than One Strategy Meets the Eye Here - When I first approached Richard Rodriguez at Sprouts to initiate One Can A Week in his store my strategy was simply to involve his customers in donating food to the Community Food Bank. While packing up the food on Wednesday I noticed something wonderful that I had not really anticipated. Just look at the quality of the food I am gathering at Sprouts each week. Not only are we feeding hungry kids and their parents, we are substantially improving their diets, too. Sprouts donations help needy folks eat as healthy as all Sprouts customers do. This fact has become part of my conversation now which—not surprisingly—puts a little more pride in the customers’ smiles.    

All the Numbers Are Going Up - When Frank Flasch started One Can A Week in the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood a couple of years ago he had just a few HOAs (Home Owner Associations) ready to follow his lead. Today there are 16 HOAs in his program and in 2013 he and his Champions (team members) donated 5,882 lbs. of food and $3,757 in cash to the Community Food Bank.

A Bright ... Light .... IdeaHarbor Freight sells these little 33 LED metal flashlights that produce an intense white light. The night after I bought one I took Adam for a walk and I noticed the shaft was a bit short (2.25”). In fact I almost dropped the flashlight a couple of times. The next day at Home Depot I found an intriguing hunk of braided plastic tubing that fit the flashlight perfectly. But what to do with the open end? I got it, buy another flashlight. And the space in the middle? Fill it with backup batteries and a One Can A Week label.
When I showed my concoction to Melinda, a new client, she bought two as gifts. Another friend did the same a couple of weeks later. With the cost of the two flashlights, nine batteries and the plastic tube my investment came to $14.00. Once my customers heard that, the twenty dollar price for each seemed quite reasonable since the money goes to help support One Can A Week expenses.

Give me a call or send me an email and I’ll be happy to make one of these Double Backup Flashlights for you.  

Making a Difference with Folks Who Make a Difference - Charity Navigator, the largest independent charity evaluator in America, recently awarded our food bank their highest 4-Star rating not only in Financial Health but Accountability and Transparency, too. This placed the Community Food Bank on their “10 Top-Notch Charities” list.

After you review the chart from the Community Food Bank’s recently published Annual Report you will readily understand why Charity Navigator and I think they are the best. I especially like the 3% figure for Fundraising and Administration costs.

We’re in the Annual Report, too, in three separate categories which is a proud moment to say the least. The Miles Neighborhood appears in the $1,000 - $2,499 Donation category while One Can A Week falls in two categories, $2,500 - $4,999 Donations and Food Drives donating 10,000 Pounds or More.

Always with a Smile - Karla Avalos-Soto, Health and Human Services Advisor in the mayor’s office sent me an email last Tuesday. “…there is some food you may want to pick up :)” I did and it amounted to 24 lbs.

1st Truck Load - 2014 - Last year we had 19 truck loads (500 lbs. or more) and this year’s first just set a record so we may have an even bigger year than 2013.

This week’s donations amounted to 856 lbs. and included River View Estates, 32 lbs.;  Sprouts (Speedway), 84 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 372 lbs., Mayor Rothschild, 24 lbs., Shiva Vista, 82 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 262 lbs. 

The Food is There, You Just Have to Pick It Up - As I walked toward my truck in the Safeway parking lot I saw a woman eyeing the sign on the passenger side. “You pick up food for the food bank?” she asked.

In a minute or so I learned her dad had recently passed, she trains Rottweilers for service work and there was a lot of food in her SUV. Then she slid open the door exposing maybe ten shopping bags filled to the brim and one huge and friendly Rottweiler.  

She was very grateful I took the food because it was so inconvenient for her to drive to the food bank. This is the second time I’ve been approached while on the road so I’m guessing it won’t be the last.

We collected a total of 262 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $61.00, $55.00 in checks and $6.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


No comments:

Post a Comment