Food Bank Service Entrance

Jonathan here: We stuck the trailer (see right) in our yard with one wheel on the curb and the other on the lawn, tilted toward Ridgeway Drive. The forecast was for rain, so friend Phil brought over their Harris Teeter tailgate tent and together we popped it up and tied it down with tent stakes. About 5:00am rain set in, so hard it woke me up.  I got up and went outside to check the trailer. Water is the enemy of non-perishable food, especially boxed cereal, rice, and pasta.  The trailer was about half full, and fortunately everything in it was still dry. I found a polypropylene tarp, lashed it over the top and sides, and went back to bed. I was so cold my teeth were rattling. 

As in years past, the majority of LCB traffic enters Ridgeway at the north (Friendly Avenue) and drives south (toward Market Street).  Three fourths of cars turn east on Madison; the rest continue to Market.  This year, in an attempt to get folks to drive the length of Ridgeway, we thought if we parked the trailer on Ridgeway that might make things easier.  As it turned out, drivers seemed puzzled when the trailer wasn't in its usual place, between the sidewalk and Madison in front of Toad Hall.  Navigating to its new location seemed hard.  Some parked alongside Madison, as in years before, got out, and walked around the corner to the trailer across from Marlene's home. Others stopped on Marlene's side of the street and walked across Ridgeway to access the trailer. Not safe.  So friends Jim and Janet offered to meet us at home after work to move the trailer to safer (and more accessible) ground. We arrived home to find the trailer, neatly and safely parked right on the curve of the corner, in plain view, complete with Harris Teeter tailgating tent tied down with tent stakes, safe and sound.  Thanks Jim and Janet.

People kept coming Sunday and Monday nights, bringing gifts of non-perishable food.  By Tuesday morning the trailer was about half full and the forecast was for rain, so before noon I stopped by, transferred bags, boxes, cans and jars to my Suburban and drove over to Potter's house.

It's been a year since I had been to Potters house. A mid-day weekday visit is as busy as it gets.  Men and women, some going some coming, some new to street life, some tired, faces worn and eyes blank; I saw a high school aged kid with a backpack and a mixed race couple. The homeless rarely walk side by side, like my wife and I do; one walks in front, the other ten or so feet behind, like a wounded person on a litter or a deer being hauled back to camp.  Truth is, they're exhausted to the point they have nothing left to give each other; couples who've lost a child feel like this.

Antonio and two other men whose names I didn't get met me at the dock before I could ring the buzzer (see sign, right).  Antonio, I learned, played football for Grimsley and graduated in 2001.  Greensboro needs more men like these men, strong, focused, servant-leaders. 

All totaled, Friends of Lighted Christmas Balls, which includes Sunset Hills neighbors and friends who attended the 7th Annual Lighted Christmas Ball Workshop, had given an abundance of nourishing, life-sustaining non-perishable food to Potter's house. 

Our goal is 10,000 pounds this year.  Help make it so.  We've got a good start, but that's where you come in.  If your life has been blessed with abundance, consider making a grocery shop using this suggested shopping list, stopping by one of several food collection points in the neighborhood, or investing cash in 2nd Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina or Greensboro Urban Ministry.  Come enjoy the Lighted Christmas Balls.  Bring your friends, family, and co-workers, and bring a bag of non-perishable food.  And share your hope with those whose hope has run dry.  Here's a map, we'll have other collection points mapped out by this weekend.

You can't read the dial on the scales just above the big box on the right.  It reads 488 pounds. 

It's raining where we live, hard.  It's 37 degrees cold.  I just went outside to check the trailer, it's already starting refilling itself.  I can't believe folks brave cold and the wet and dark of night just to put a few cans of groceries in a wet trailer.  But then, my faith is pretty small.