Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Food Drives, and Then Some

It's been one hell of a day, and I am exhausted. We were due to pick up food at Becki's school at 11AM. After that we had two others schools to pick up from. Earlier in the week Bill took a call from our friend, George. She wanted me to pick up gift cards from a local church. While he had her on the line, he told her, "We're getting old here. We can't do this on our own anymore. Please try to get us some help on Wednesday."
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Today as we're walking out the door to get to the High School, Cal pulled up. "I should be at the middle school by 12:30," he said. "Anything else?" I explained our schedule and I'm glad I did.

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We pulled up to the side door by the High School were I met Sgt. L. from ROTC. He brought me to the front of the class, and ordered Ed and Pele to take chairs at the by the door. Then he explained who I was and why I was there, even telling them that I was Becki's Mom. Then he asked me to speak. I told the kids, we are an organization that helps families through emergency situations. If someone breaks their leg, falls sick, or is out of work, we're there. Under these situations, the Government can't help. They aren't equipped to act quickly enough. I explained that the second food drive ROTC will be conducting will go to our local pantries. It is our goal to collect as much food as we can. After we finish with our clients, we split our remaining food between our local Salvation Army outlet and St. Vincent DePaul Society pantry. We do this intentionally and we push as hard for this as we do for ourselves. I told them, donations dry up after Christmas. Hunger doesn't. It is our goal to help out all winter long if possible. I said, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." I also explained that even though Becki is not in this class, there is a member of our organization in the class. Mel, one of Becki's closest friends, and who lives kitty corner from us, was right there. I recognized Mel and she smiled hugely.
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What surprised me was there were six partially packed boxes, and a ton of canned goods stacked up against the wall. I'm used to walking into a school and having everything boxed. Anyway, Sgt. L. instructed Ed and Pele to tell the kids what they wanted them to do. Then he ordered the kids to take 4 cans to the van at a time. I literally thought I'd be there all freakin' day. Sgt. L. must have realized that because he reorganized on the spot. We were out of there within a few minutes. We were so overloaded that Bill avoided every railroad track he could. In this town, that's almost impossible, with the only exception of heading north into Chicago. We were headed south. Very, very slowly.
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We dropped the load at the warehouse with just enough time to meet our help at the first middle school. A secretary told me the other guy took two boxes to his truck. He wanted to know where the rest of his party was. We drove around the school and couldn't find anyone. Then we went home to drop off Pele. He was to pick up Becki and her friends who got out at 1PM. I called George. Her cousin, Jimmy, was waiting outside of the school for us still. So we caught up with him. He didn't have any food. That made me wonder what happened to Cal. And with 2 boxes, I mean did I need two more people? Would this embarrass me because I had all this help and not enough food? Silly girl. We caught up to Cal at the last school. Bill and I stood there in awe as Ed, Jimmy and kids from the school overloaded all three vehicles. Un-freakin'-believable.
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We pulled up outside the warehouse, where Becki, Pele, Matt, Mel and Kat were waiting with a hand jack, a pallet and a couple of carts. They unloaded all three vehicles in a blink, and then the kids took it all upstairs to sort. They worked, all 6 of them, with only a break for Sliders, for 4 solid hours.
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What wasn't so good was that Bill was complaining about heartburn. He wanted to go home and rest. I made him stop at the bakery first. You know I didn't have time to make homemade pies. (I make crappy pies.) We got home, and he went in and threw up. I made him as comfortable as I could, and lunch, and coffee, and I waited until I was sure he was situated. Thankfully Jon made it home just a little earlier. Bill had such a bad summer, and with his diabetes as it is, it takes a long time to come out of any illness. I wasn't comfortable with him coming with us earlier, but thought maybe it was good he got out. He over did it. He feels much better tonight.
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I had to cover City Council last night. It was announced that the South Suburban Council of Mayors ordered all cities, towns and villages to put together a list of infrastructure projects that are ready to go now. This is a joint initiative put together by President elect Obama and President Bush with the intention of putting people back to work and strengthening the economy. And the list was due to be turned in last Thursday. I am excited. My City came up with a list of projects they estimate to cost about $38,000,000. I hope this goes into effect quickly, and I hope it is very successful. I am thrilled someone is finally using their FREAKIN' common sense!
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Okay, so Happy Thanksgiving!

2 comments:

kbear's heart 2 said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jude! i'm grateful for all you do for others. i know those others are even far more grateful. Bless you and your family for all your great work this time of year. take care~kbear

Chris said...

Happy Thanksgiving! You and your family are awesome.