Monday, March 3, 2014

269th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
A Major Breakthrough

Six days after our initial meeting at the Community Food Bank, Michael McDonald, the CEO sent me an email.


Instead of trying to launch the 2080 community service standardization and certification endeavor on your own as a stand-alone nonprofit what about finding the right, well-established civic engagement/leadership nonprofit under which to incubate it, e.g. Independent Sector, or The Aspen Institute?  

Might such an approach bring 2080 faster brand credibility and broader nonprofit sector support/adoption?


Michael’s idea gave me pause. All of my experience is on the corporate side, consequently, I am always thinking about ways to launch something to show viability and marketability. Sprouts is an example of my modus operandi.

Over the next few days I reviewed both The Independent Sector and The Aspen Institute websites and decided to start with Nadine Jalandoni at The Independent Sector. Ms. Jalandoni handles special projects. An automatic “Out of Office” reply came back with a promise to respond later but that never happened.

The Aspen Institute, an esteemed think tank was next.  According to their website The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.”

In 2012, following an Aspen Ideas Festival, The Aspen Institute created a new program called the Franklin Project named after Ben Franklin who believed central to any democracy is citizen service. General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal, former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan and Leadership Council Chair for the Franklin Project, began promoting a one-year conscription program for recent high school and college graduates. When I first learned of the Franklin Project about a year ago, I also learned about General McChrystal and an associate Alan Khazei. For this reason, I thought it might be a waste of time to present an opposing idea. Michael’s comments encouraged me to look at them again.

Alan Khazei—a very prominent social entrepreneur, founder and chief executive officer of Be the Change, Inc, Co-Chair of the Franklin Project and adjunct lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School—was more soft-spoken about conscription, a “Rite of Passage” as he called it. In earlier posts I’ve mentioned my Vietnam vet status and my lack of enthusiasm for drafting folks into service because such programs favor the rich and burden the poor. So I lean more toward Mr. Khazei’s kinder rite of passage approach and decided to connect with him.

Without much trouble I found Mr. Khazei’s email address on the Harvard University website. Under the subject line: Making Community Service a “Fact of Life” in America, I sent Mr. Khazei my Twenty Eighty Community Service proposal in an attachment and explained as briefly as possible my intensions. That was about 1 pm Monday morning, February 24th. At 7:23 AM I got a reply. 

“Thanks Peter for your interest in national service.
I and my colleagues will review your proposal and be back in touch.

All the best,


Each of those colleagues was cc:d in the email. In the next fifteen minutes I Googled them and was overwhelmed by their positions and spheres of influence. Mr. Khazei sent the Twenty Eighty Community Service proposal to: John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy firm in Washington, D.C. and  Co-Chair of the Franklin Project; Jason Mangone, Director for the Franklin Project; Zach Maurin, Co-Founder and Executive Director of and Varsha Subramanyam, Reproductive Health and Research Intern at the World Health Organization.

Based on the credential of the folks Mr. Khazei forwarded the proposal to, you know that he had to read it first. That fact was enough to keep me in a full smile mode for the rest to the day. The other thing that made me happy was all these national service executives have been thinking about a community service program that lasts only one year. The Twenty Eighty proposal encourages community service for a lifetime beginning in the third grade. Can’t wait to get the next email from Mr. Khazei.

Special Note: If you would like to review the seven-page Twenty Eighty Community Service Program proposal, just ask and I will forward it to you. Or read an Arizona Daily Star article here.

Sprouts Update

6th Truck Load - 2014
Got fooled by a bag of potatoes this week. Sprouts had their potatoes on sale— about 34 cents a pound—so while at the Oracle store on Wednesday I collected enough money to buy 90 lbs. Since it was going to rain on Saturday and I only have outdoor storage, I took the donation to the Food Bank on Thursday and forgot about it.

Saturday I bought 150 lbs., 80 lbs. for Sprouts-Speedway and 60 lbs. for Karen and Dot at DKA Associates. Even with 19 bags in the truck it still didn’t look like a 500 lb. load. Of course, the earlier Sprouts run to the Food Bank was still not in the mix yet.

While at the Food Bank today it all came together and I had no photo of this terrific haul. So I took one bag of potatoes back out to the truck, placed it in the center of the bed and immortalized it.

This week’s donations amounted to 586 lbs. and included River View Estates, 34 lbs.; Sprouts (Speedway), 168 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 172 lbs.; and Miles Neighborhood, 212 lbs.

Surprise Cash Donation
One of the DKA shopping bags was too full. In the process of splitting the load I noticed a folded $20 bill. Usually cash donations are in an envelope or have a Post It note attached.  In response to my email query Dot wrote: “Hi Peter- Karen usually does the shopping, but is out of town today through the weekend. So go ahead and buy potatoes and I will check it out on Mon. If it was a mistake, I will reimburse it myself. Either way, we've still fed a lot more people!”

Dot’s famous for those everybody wins decisions!

We collected a total of 212 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $32.00, a $25.00 check and $7.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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