Michael’s Christmas Community Service
There are two Jacuzzi-sized boxes near the loading dock door at the Community Food Bank. This is where a great deal of food is warehoused until it is needed to fill food boxes that are handed out monthly to clients. On this particular Monday morning a young man, maybe 17 or 18-years-old was sorting through a couple of shopping carts parked next to the boxes. The moment he saw me he offered to help find an empty shopping cart or two so I could unload my car.
When I explained how I had to keep the food separated until after weighing, he understood immediately. In fact, he followed directions easily and paid attention to everything I was doing. When I tried to hand him several envelopes containing our cash and check donations he quickly replied, “Oh, no, I am on community service.”
I surmised that meant he was under a court order to spend some time thinking about others and less time about trying to awe his peers with the plugs he forced through his ear lobes.
What impressed me most about Michael is his lack of attitude. He was politely interested in One Can A Week and what our neighborhood is trying to accomplish. I gave him a business card and told him to check us out on the web. He may or may not but what I am hoping for is a little Christmas miracle.
I got a feeling that deep down inside, Michael is sensitive to the needs of others but he currently is more concerned with modifying his body instead of his brain. Of course, it is easy, albeit, painful, to hang a ring here or there on one’s face or torso but when you’re done …well, it’s done. If Michael decides to concentrate on hanging knowledge, the ornaments of the mind, instead, he could help himself, his family and thousands of others he will encounter in life. I could see in his eyes that he was surprised people took to him immediately and expected him to join in the task at hand … feeding thousands of hungry Tucsonans just because it is the right thing to do.
My hope is that this Christmas Michael will see that true personal strength is doing some good on your own without any prompting from others, and not “fitting in” with a group that expects conformity and dissuades individual courage.
That’s what I want for Christmas.
It’s Winter in Tucson
Kristen, my next door neighbor handed me a can of beans and two knitted wool hats this Sunday. The hats are on the upper right keeping two canisters of oatmeal cereal warm. She said a lady visits her library every day and knits hats for the needy every day. That’s pretty cool, I think.
We collected a total of 355 lbs. of food, including 40 lbs. of produce and 106 lbs. from The Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $39.50 … a $25.00 check and $14.50 in cash.
See you Sunday,