Getting the job done, one sneaker at a time

Posted on May 1, 2011


When confronted with a bewildering array of things to write about, choose one and get the job done!! OK. The sun is out up here, and all my Alabama connections are present and accounted for. A lot of other people’s connections were not so fortunate. There’s a lot to be done down there in the wake of the worst tornadoes since the 1930s, and if you are so disposed you can help out through the American Red Cross disaster relief fund or through the helpful charity of your choice. It’s particularly important because the very people who would normally be out there getting the job done are affected themselves. The AP stories say firefighters in Alberta City are carrying out rescue operations without a fire truck because theirs was destroyed. A Salvation Army shelter was destroyed. So you begin to see the scope of the problem.

What you have to do is to get supplies to where they’re needed and sneakers on the ground. Here in Antrim County we have smaller problems at the moment, but difficult ones nonetheless. On Friday I happened by as supplies were being carted into the Elk Rapids Community Cupboard by some of those valuable sneakers on the ground. I thought you’d like to see somebody doing something practical to make a difference.

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This was a special day because some very smart people thought creatively. Together the Elk Rapids Schools and the Village Market collected an Absolutely Enormous quantity of household supplies and non-perishable food and the schools earned an Equally Enormous financial contribution from Village Market owner Rick Young in support of innovations in education. There must have been 20 pairs of sneakers in and out, and I counted eight vans full of donations. Hundreds of people participated in one way or another.

Wherever you are, whatever the overwhelming choices you face, I suspect you will feel better if you put your sneakers on the ground and cart some useful supplies to a place where they’ll give them to someone who needs them. Or send off some useful financial resources to a disaster relief organization. It’s the neighborly thing to do, and it will, little by little, one sneaker at a time, get the job done.