86th Week Update – Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Projectby Peter Norback on Aug. 31, 2010, under Life
Of Like Mind
George Clooney and I had the same thought on Sunday, but, of course, his was global and handsomer.
For eighty-six weeks now I have collected lots of my neighbors’ food which we donate to the Community Food Bank. My thought was, how long can I keep this up? It’s not because I’m bored or tired. I was wondering how long would my neighbors stay with me because I’m one of those guys who jumps off the horse just as we both head for the ground.
In his acceptance speech for the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the Emmys Sunday, George Clooney said, in part, “When the disaster happens, everybody wants to help…The hard part is seven months later, five years later, when we’re on to a new story. Honestly, we fail at that, most of the time…
“So here’s hoping that some very bright person right here in the room or at home watching can help find a way to keep the spotlight burning on these heartbreaking situations that continue to be heartbreaking long after the cameras go away.”
I read George’s words a few hours after I answered my own question. I know that as long as I stick and stay, my neighbors will do the same because I am doing something they want and need to do. That’s also the answer to Mr. Clooney’s question.
In all of those disasters, large and small, a few people like George, who see a job to be done, can keep support coming from friends and associates if they stay the course no matter how dark it gets without the media lights.That’s what my neighbors are doing. They love that I’m in it for the long haul.
The real trick is to find folks—boots on the ground, as it were—who truly are helpers. They’re Peace Corps types. They love speaking another language and eating bugs if they have to. (I have to tell you that I like everything about the Peace Corps and thought about joining but I really need to stay in a motel every night and take a shower.) So One Can A Week is perfect for me.
If George wants to affect change, he might think about creating a cadre of Peace Corps types, train them and then pay them a small salary to help endlessly. Most Peace Corps volunteers would never come home if they could count on a little support that never ends as long as they keep helping. Then George, along with other powerful folks, could round up supplies and keep them coming. The administrative cost would be low and most of the donated money would go directly to the people in need. Just people, ropes, horses, oxen and logs built the Pyramids.
Gaining Ground Again – In the past few months we have lost a number of neighbors to other neighborhoods. But just this past week, other neighborhoods have lost neighbors to us. We have two new couples on Warren Street who have joined us and both are excited to participate in One Can A Week.
We collected a total of 128 lbs. of food, including 2 lbs. from the Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $61.50…$13 from Axis, two checks for $40.00 and $8.50 in cash.
See you Sunday,