Monday, January 19, 2009

mlk day update

I try to avoid double daily posting -- just in case writing material becomes scarce. But I wanted to give you a quick update on our Martin Luther King Day volunteer project.

The Salvation Army in Salem distributes toys to needy families each December. This year, almost 1900 families visited the distribution center. Thousands of children, many who would not have received any presents, received a special gift because members of the local community reached out to them.

Because there are so many activities during the Christmas season, the distribution center often sits as a big mess until we can find enough time to clean it up. The cleaning is truly the grunt work. There are no smiling faces. No thankful hand shakes. No immediate gratification.

Today, three of my work colleagues showed up to give some of their time back to the community. One showed up with her 7-year old son. One with his two teen-age sons. And one with her church group of three adults and 13 teenagers.

You can see the task we faced at the top of this post. In less than two hours, they had cleared all of the left over toys into boxes for storage next year, loaded the boxes into a Salvation Army truck, broke down mountains off cardboard boxes for recycling, and stored all of the tables and chairs. And they all did it with joy. This is the result of their work.

After they cleaned the center, we drove over to the shelter and family services to let them see how the local Salvation Army touches one soul at a time -- and to have lunch with the shelter residents.

Wayne commented in the last post that all of our charitable activities are merely a drop in the bucket. He is correct. But every drop makes a difference.

I hope that the people who volunteered today will realize that the need is daily. Developing that sense of community is what the project was all about. And I believe it was a lesson well-learned.


Jonna said...

I checked Mr Jiggs meds at the CostCo pharmacy today in Mérida. They have it, 40 mg Depo-Medrol injectible for $173 pesos.

Great work you do with the SA. I'll admit I've always been a bit dubious about them but I need to recognize that nothing is black and white, most things are shades of gray. I do appreciate the giving but perhaps not the message.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Jonna. Jiggs appears to be covered. There is a Costco in Puerto Vallarta that I will need to visit periodically. When I get to Mexico, we will need to talk about many things. I look forward to it.

Islagringo said...

Thank you for sharing this uplifting story.

Referring to your next post re: inauguration day. I think what we are seeing in people reaching out to help others is an extension of the hope people are feeling because Obama won. People see that anything is possible if we just all work together for the common good. This goodwill is manifesting itself in charitable work.

Steve Cotton said...

Islagringo -- Once again, let me thank you for your continued commitment to help your neighbors. No matter what happens in politics our neighbors still need us.