"Do Something" Means
The Beat of a
with Jim Chapin
to Make a
Message as Key
Freedom of Choice
in the Cradle...
LUNCH for WHY
Howard Fields and
Al Stewart in
Benefit KIDS Can
Make a Difference
Readers Share Thoughts
in Second Annual
to read previous
issues of Circle!
remain skeptical that humans are the intelligent specie.
Take the example of me purposely squirting glue in my ear. Not just any
glue, but green glue with glitter.
Of course, gluing one's ear drum shut is an innocent accident as any parent
of young children knows. But bonded ears are not common among balding
guys who have a mortgage, pay taxes and watch infomercials about revolutionary
car-washing brushes with ever-increasing interest.
Let's clarify here... I would never buy a revolutionary car-washing brush
because it might risk actually washing my car. However, I do find the
idea fascinating -- particularly the part that says "it's so simple
even your kids can do it." They never tested the brush with my two
offspring or they could never make the claim.
Back to the glue bottle. It seemed inoperable as old glue had apparently
dried and plugged up the squirt top. The only way, obviously, to test
the situation was to place the bottle to my ear, lightly squeeze it, and
listen for air coming through.
Wow... a discovery. The top wasn't plugged! But my ear was now blocked
with a green glitter glob.
[WARNING: Do not try this at home. Leave glue-bottle testing to a trained
professional which still doesn't explain why I attempted this.]
Fortunately, the kids were in another room doing something other than
working on THEIR school project for which the glitter glue was required
when the incident occurred. I sneaked into the bathroom and began digging
the glue out with Q-Tips and tissue.
New discovery. Glue, paper and cotton stick together really well. Pretty
soon I had a new school project coming out of my ear. This reminds me...
did you know the state reptile of Kansas is the box turtle?
I quickly shifted to a wash cloth and continued my digging. Ten minutes
later I could hear again, even though the outside of my ear remained quite
sparkly (Elton John would be proud of my new fashion statement).
The experience has left little hope my volunteer services will be encouraged
in Need program, an innovative program based out of the Atlanta Community
Food Bank. After all, I might accidentally hurt someone with a sharp piece
of construction paper. Or an errant crayon. Worse yet, a misfired cardboard
tube that previously acted as the spindle for a toilet paper roll.
So, how does passing out crayons, pencils, erasers and, yes, glue help
feed people? At first it seems like an odd idea for a food bank.
Education is the key to self-sufficiency. With the right skills and experience,
one can build a productive life through employment or starting a business.
Providing free school supplies to cash-strapped schools and kids keeps
them on the road to learning just as nutritious breakfasts and
lunches keep youngsters energized throughout the school day.
Kids In Need also shows how a little creativity can turn a problem into
a solution. The program started by accident when companies that are members
of the School and Home Office Products Association were in Atlanta to
show off their latest in file folders, thumbtacks and what not at an annual
Rather than tossing millions of pencils, glue bottles, paper and other
supplies away at the end of the show, Kids In Need worked with SHOPA to
gather goods for distribution to Atlanta area schools. A big truckload
of trash turned into valuable resources for schools.
Now teachers can "shop" once a year at the Kids In Need store
and pick up hundreds of dollars worth of free supplies for their classrooms
at no charge.
Kids In Need is one of many programs featured in a recently published
report called Building the Bridge. The report illustrates how food
banks are focusing more attention on solving the root causes of hunger
a step well beyond their traditional role as a food supplier to
those in need.
Building the Bridge was produced in conjunction with the Community
Food Security Coalition and World
Hunger Year two organizations dedicated to advancing innovative
ways to create self reliance and America's
Second Harvest, the nation's network of food banks.
The report is truly inspiring (and free to download)... although it lacks
safety information about the hazards of ear gluing.
for the Next Issue of Circle! on September 7