It was literally a truckload of food. On Tuesday Bill delivered over 1,600 non-perishable food items to the Tanner Chapel food pantry. Thanks to our generous Seed families and the hardworking food pantry staff, fewer people will go hungry in the Phoenix area around Thanksgiving this year. It’s a good feeling to be able to help and impressive to note the generosity of others. One family brought in around 200 items. We still had items coming in after the delivery, so they went to a local school serving lower income families. Already we have plans to collect food for a December drive. The need is immense and each day I am reminded in some way how much more is required of us.
This week I received a long email from one of our Seed alums, Erik Woodward. Erik graduated from the U of A in 2010 and is currently living in Guatemala. He is a volunteer human rights accompanier for the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), a US based solidarity organization with ties to a variety of indigenous communities and organizations in Guatemala who are organizing to realize their human rights. Basically, he and a co-worker assist small communities struggling to resist increases in electrical costs, discriminatory changes in requirements for teaching primary school, and controversial amendments to the constitution. Erik described a ceremony he attended in a small village commemorating a massacre that occurred 30 years ago. Surprisingly, it was much more celebratory than he expected and it gave him great insights about the people’s attitudes toward life. He observed their honoring of their past, yet holding hope and courage for their present and future. I was touched also by Erik’s hope and courage.
One of the most gratifying parts of my work over many decades is receiving messages such as this one from Erik. All of the time, energy, and effort put forth to help a child grow in healthy ways pay off. The intentions to inspire children to become mature, responsible planetary citizens are realized. Making a difference through nurturing generations of children who care becomes a reality. Our collective life work is all worthwhile.
As I think about our food collection for Tanner Chapel, I am delighted that we are able to not only help feed the hungry, but also plant the seeds of service in even our youngest students. I also think about how much more we can do. Erik’s story confirms this idea and the timing is perfect as we head into the holiday season. A truckload of food is a great beginning.