…like a herd of turtles down a cobblestone street.” This was a refrain of my father’s whenever our large and somewhat chaotic family was finally getting out the door. And it seems apt as a tribute both to my father and to all the wonderful people and efforts that have worked together to send our first 20 weekend food backpacks home last Friday. In the midst of endless snow storms and resulting injuries, school cancellations, work cancellations, transportation challenges, supermarket lines, and other significantly challenging life events, we still got it done.
One of the things I like about this crazy weather pattern is that it can bring out a stronger sense of community, a sense that “we’re in this together”. When I showed up at Food for Free this past week, two days later than my normal schedule due to the storms and my inability to get my car out, I was welcomed by Aida, Julio and Santana. I had to leave my car with flashers flashing a bit farther out into the street than usual. I had brought my friend Joanne along in case I needed help getting my car unstuck. The folks at FFF, while always helpful, went the extra mile. They insisted on carrying the cases of produce out and loading them into my car for me. And they insisted I take an extra case of produce which actually came in quite handy for the backpacks. Then, when I got back over to PHA, the facilities worker whose name I still don’t know, insisted on opening doors and carrying in the cases of fruit for me. These helpful gestures made my day, and made me appreciate how much we are “in this together”!
This coming Friday kicks off school vacation week. Let’s hope that we can make it through the snow to Market Basket, then through the snow-induced-panic lines. And let’s hope that this Friday we can send home weekend backpacks of breakfast and lunch items accompanied by Market Basket gift cards to help the families get through the week. Given what we’ve been able to achieve so far I think the odds are good.