Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Have a Friend

I have a friend.

She's one of those people whom, if you don't know her, you look at and think she's as tough as stone. But she's really not. She's also one of those people who always gets asked to do things because she always says yes. She never really wants to say yes, but she has a deep sense of commitment to things, so she usually leads the charge.

So it is no surprise to me that every year for the past five or six years, she has headed up a program in our area that collects food for the food bank. She does it as part of the national organization of drama teachers. She doesn't have to do it. It's not part of her job description. She doesn't get paid for it. No one even checks to see if she is going to do it. Knowing her, she probably read about it in a drama magazine, thought it was a cool idea and just decided to add it to her already busy schedule. And in fact, it comes at the worst time of year for her as she has a school play and drama tournament rehearsal going on, as well as a Haunted House program her theater troupe takes part in. She spends extra hours organizing her school kids, sorting through the food and delivering it to the food bank. She even misses out on trick or treating with her own son because this is something she feels so strongly about. She does it without complaint and without recognition. She just does it.

This year her kids collected so much food that it wouldn't all fit in her truck, so I volunteered my van to help deliver the food. She's done so much for me and for my church that I try to look for opportunities to help her any chance I get. We loaded up my van until I was afraid of turning for fear of shifting the weight and causing my car to tip. The food was unloaded and weighed and because of her, the food bank received 1896 pounds of food.

Let me say that again:

ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY-SIX POUNDS OF FOOD.

That's approximately 1066 servings of Kraft macaroni and cheese.
Or 3,792 servings of Beefaroni.
Or 5688 servings of tuna.

In other words, four families of four will eat for 10 weeks on the amount of food that my friend collected. And no, she didn't do it alone. But it was done because she did it. She chose to step up and say "I will lead when no one else will." Because she has chosen to say yes instead of no when she has been called, or felt called, or simply been asked, others lives will be just a little bit easier. I wonder how many of us, myself included, don't answer our calls? How many of us say "Why should I do that, I'm just one person, I can't do much?"


ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY-SIX POUNDS OF FOOD.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

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