“And what are you going to do?”by Peter Norback on Feb. 11, 2013, under Life
214th Week Update – Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project
It never fails. When I make a One Can A Week presentation to a neighborhood association or social group, telling them about our concept of picking up the food contributions every Sunday, someone immediately speaks up and says. “What a great idea. I’ll just have my neighbors drop off the food at my home.”
Most insist on pursuing their approach even when I suggest—as politely as possible—they are doomed from the very beginning. I’ve often heard back that they did try and they did fail within a week or two.
Humans have a very consistent and predictable behavior pattern when asked to do something. Whether the thought appears in the conscious or unconscious mind the words are always the same: “And what are you going to do?”
If the role of the person asking for help is passive, the person asked to help will remain or become passive in a very short period of time. This is why many charities host singular annual events to raise funds. People only help passive folks once in a while if they help at all.
Years ago when my back was stronger I was often asked to help my friends move. “Sure I’ll help,” I’d say quickly, “but I have one rule, you have to pick up your end of the couch first before I pick up my end.”
People just love others to do the work for them, don’t they? And it’s not a bad path for an individual to follow, but it does stymie community interaction. Since I’m more into equity, I thought of this simple rule to involve both myself and the helpee, as it were, whenever there’s work to be done.
One Can A Week operates on the same principle. My neighbors put out the can first and then I take it from there. It’s neighbors helping neighbors help. And it accounts for our wonderful success in shared responsibility.
Others involved in grassroots charity work are beginning to pay attention to what we do and the way we do it. On Thursday, I received an email from Nina Straw.
“I was just talking to Frank (Flasch) at the Ft Lowell Neighborhood Association and he suggested I contact you.
“I started a backpack program in my neighborhood elementary school and we are sending 73 children home every Friday with a weekend backpack containing 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches to make sure our kids are eating over the weekend and ready to learn on Monday…
“Any ideas or suggestions would be very helpful as we are very grassroots.”
Then two days later, Davis Bauer sent me a similar email.
“…I am a student in the Eller College of Management here in Tucson. I am communicating to you because I represent a non-profit organization here on campus called UA Campus Pantry.
“I would very much like to collaborate with your “One Can A Week” program. UA Campus Pantry is an officially recognized ASUA organization here on campus, and the very first student food pantry exclusively for staff and students in need.
“We not only offer canned food and other non-perishables, but an array of toiletries with our recent partnership with UA Campus Health services.”
It’s going to be fun and rewarding to help both of these essential organizations achieve their unique goals. And isn’t it amazing, all they have to learn is to “pick up their end of the couch right after their participants’ pick up theirs.”
No wonder the Cabriolet gave up the ghost
January 7th was the official start date for the new One Can A Week truck. It’s been only 35 days since then and the S10 has delivered 1,986 lbs. to the food bank. At this pace we’re headed for an 11-ton year at the minimum.
We collected a total of 164 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $38.00, a $25.00 check and $13.00 in cash.
See you Sunday,