By Amy Johnson
We all have busy lives, running from one thing to the other while constantly trying to get ahead of the next looming crisis. For most of us, however, a loving family, supportive friends, a warm house, the ability to travel, and a fulfilling job provide a respite from these pressures.
Millions of people everywhere, however, including too many in our city, experience the daily stress of wondering where their next meal is coming from. They must rely on the kindness of others for their basic needs. If you just stop to think about that, it’s pretty heartbreaking.
In an effort to make a small ripple in a pool of despair, a few weeks ago I recruited some of my Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal co-workers to help organize a food drive to benefit Operation Food Search. Operation Food Search feeds over 200,000 people every month across 32 counties in Missouri and Illinois. To encourage our better selves, we made it a competition to see which work group could collect the most goods. The director of Operation Food Search suggested that, based on the number of employees, we would need six bins to collect the items. We set up the bins, disbursed shopping lists and this past week, began our food drive.
As soon as I walked into the office on Monday, day one of our food drive, the energy and enthusiasm that everyone had for the drive was evident. Throughout the day the bins started filling up and by the end of the day, four bins were full. I had to call the director of Operation Food Search to let her know that we had already filled four of the six bins. Six more were delivered later in the week. As the week progressed, it was evident that twelve bins were not going to be enough!
To say that the competition brought out the generosity of the people in my firm is an understatement. Throughout the week, as the bins filled up and even overflowed onto the floor, I became overwhelmed with the good, positive nature of the people I am surrounded by every day. Attorneys and staff took this food drive seriously, not just because of a competitive spirit, but also because of their natures. We all knew that each item brought in meant that more families and children could worry less about their next meal. By the end of the week, we had collected some 7,200 items; that’s well over 100 items per employee!
I am so very thankful to work with people who, despite having busy lives, realize that they are fortunate and are willing to do whatever they can do to contribute to a cause to help others. Everyone made sacrifices this past week to ensure that the food drive was a success. Even if we can’t rely on the good acts of others, we can make our own individual efforts to create a better world, just by making a tiny ripple in that a pool. I’m thankful that I am in a workplace where we share the desire to give generously and make our community a better and healthier place.