Feed The People

It’s Thanksgiving time here in the US, time to feed the people again. Perhaps the most American of holidays, at least we try to make it that way. Everyone has things to be thankful for, everyone should have the opportunity to feast a little for the holiday.Everyone has things to be thankful for, everyone should have the opportunity to feast a little for the holiday.

Food drives to provide Thanksgiving meals, these happen all over the country. Generous people helping others, it’s one of the most heartwarming, and hands-on way to connect with others, if only through a little charity.

And so right here at home, here’s how it goes, Thanksgiving food boxes for 150 families. Via the Cupertino DeAnza Lions Club. GOOD.

Local donation location this year, COVID-Friendly, rather than store front
Garage Become Sort Center
Delivery Rig

Easy Does It

Got some work to do this weekend. Easy does it.

None too happy about going into work on a Saturday, but that’s just how things are right now: short-handed; several challenges across the business. Easy does it.

Once I decided and accepted I was going to work for a few hours over the weekend, well, everything felt a little lighter.

Do what you can. Keep going forward. Easy does it.

Nighttime? Nope, Early Morning

Reset

First a few more headlines from yesterday…then the reset at the bottom.

San Franciso
New York
Philly
Miami (FL)
Ottawa
Winnipeg
London

And most important…IMMEDIATELY…announcements and initial information regrading the Biden Administration’s priorities.

RESET.

1/ COVID-19

2/ Economic Recovery

3/ Racial Equality

4/ Climate Change

A Simple Message

I did. If you’re 18 or older, you can do. Do what? VOTE.

Here in the United States, today is Election Day. And so if you can, vote.

About 100 million eligible voters have already voted. There are about 255 million Americans who could vote.

DO SO.

Even if you’re not registered, you might be able to vote, depending on the state you live in.

BOTTOM LINE: VOTE.

Lions Work: Saturday Service Project – Greenhouse & Garden, Cupertino

A couple hours is all it took.

We were set to gather up some compost and complete delivery. Simple enough. A simple path to a little more GOOD.

The destination? A greenhouse and garden beds in need of good soil. This Saturday morning work was a short chapter in a bigger, new project underway from a few months back.

A bit of organization, a few simple tools, a good plan, and a residence card, that’s what was needed. And some sweat equity, something Lions are good at.

The reward? Dark and damp, rich and warm compost, two truckloads — or actually, one small pick-up truck, one Bronco filled with bags.

A few Lions, good fellowship, and we made pretty quick work of the job at hand.

Compost transferred to a greenhouse and garden beds at Camp Via (Via West Campus), which provides residential respite care with special needs camping programs to children and adults in the hills above Cupertino.

The greenhouse at the camp has been dormant for a few years. The DeAnza Lions Club was given the opportunity to bring it back to life, and a few of our members jumped at the chance to get their hands dirty and give the greenhouse and garden beds a fresh start.

Many different aspects of GOOD here:

1/ refreshed purpose of an unused resource.

2/ an opportunity to provide organic, fresh produce to those in need in the community, and for the campers when they return after the pandemic subsides;

3/ a fantastic opportunity to engage others in the community with Lions Work.

Like I said…GOOD. And Lions? WE SERVE. A great way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning.

This Is Community

We received this letter in the mail recently; it’s the second such letter since the pandemic took hold and shelter in place began.

The message this letter conveys is, “We’re in this situation together. There are people and organizations that want to help those in need; there are people Rut want to help you.

Let’s get through this together. We’re better as a community.

GOOD.

So Many Messages, One Purpose

There are so many ways, so many takes, but in the end just one purpose, I think: EQUALITY.

After 400 years a society, and almost 250 years a country, let it be so: that all people are equal and should be treated as such.

These names come to mind: Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Harry Edwards, Bill Walsh, Al Davis, Phil Woolpert, Horace Stoneham, Colin Kaepernick, Steve Kerr, Kyle Shanahan, Gabe Kapler, Evander Kane,…and…

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castille, Alton Sterling, Michelle Cusseaux, Freddie Gray, Janisha Fonville, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Gabriella Nevarez, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Tanisha Anderson, to name a few. These names? Those names of African-Americans who have been killed by police officers.

Some of these words on the backs of some NBA players’ jerseys as their teams compete in the playoffs.

“Say Their Names.”

“Love Us.”

Elevate the Voices That Need To Be Heard.

Brown Lives Matter.

“Enough.”

“Stand Up.”

“Black Lives Matter.”

“BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Let your elected officials know what you. Let them know they are accountable for making society worse for all people.

ALL PEOPLE.

Say Their Names: https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2020/know-their-names/index.html

Labor Day

The late 19th Century saw the labor movement gain ground. As the turn of the century approached the movement spurred popular support to such degree that national, and international holidays were established to recognize and celebrate workers around the world.

During this same time more reasonable norms were established for number of working hours, and improvement of working conditions in some parts of the world as well.

This work for fair pay, safe conditions, and reasonable parameters otherwise is not complete. The movement must continue, and spread further now to more of the developing world where populations of workers still do not have basic rights and safe and reasonable conditions.

In the United States we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September. In many other parts of the world they celebrate May 1 as Labor Day. Whichever the day, the cause is the same.

More than a century later, let us still Honor Labor. Not only that, let us demand safety, equity, and respect for workers everywhere.

I don’t mean to bug you, but I do mean to elevate the voices that need to be heard.

Let’s say it again:

HONOR LABOR.

The Next Right Thing

Pretty frickin’ powerful lyric for a cartoon “kids” movie.

Learning the lessons young, amen to that.

“The Next Right Thing”

(from “Frozen 2” soundtrack)

I’ve seen dark before

But not like this

This is cold

This is empty

This is numb

The life I knew is over

The lights are out

Hello, darkness

I’m ready to succumb

I follow you around

I always have

But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find

This grief has a gravity

It pulls me down

But a tiny voice whispers in my mind

You are lost, hope is gone

But you must go on

And do the next right thing

Can there be a day beyond this night?

I don’t know anymore what is true

I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone

The only star that guided me was you

How to rise from the floor

When it’s not you I’m rising for?

Just do the next right thing

Take a step, step again

It is all that I can to do

The next right thing

I won’t look too far ahead

It’s too much for me to take

But break it down to this next breath

This next step

This next choice is one that I can make

So I’ll walk through this night

Stumbling blindly toward the light

And do the next right thing

And with the dawn, what comes then?

When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again

Then I’ll make the choice

To hear that voice

And do the next right thing

‘Frozen 2’ Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez

Finding Ways to Serve

The event gathers some 500 people to eat crab, enjoy music and fellowship too. It’s a great event.

On Saturday, the Eighth of February, the Lions club I belong to has it’s 24th Charity Crab Feed, to raise money for our club’s charity work.

It also takes a BUNCH of hours to produce. Some 30-40 people volunteer their time that day/evening to put the event on — and a smaller leader group puts in tens of hours prior planning, making arrangements, etc. for the actual event day.

It all comes down to service: how can we Lions raise money for the charity work that needs support; how can we engage our community to for awareness; what can we do to serve those in need and make it enjoyable along the way.

This Charity Crab Feed does the job. My gratitude and admiration to my fellow Lions who started this project nearly a quarter century ago, ten years before I became a Lion. My gratitude to those who support the event. My gratitude to all our Lions and Friends of Lions who do the work to make it happen.

Anatomy of a Crab Feed follows, images from the prep, from the day, from the clean-up.

LIONS. WE SERVE.