Helping or something to that effect

Posted on May 18, 1999

Fold out a brown cardboard box.

Add five strips of tape - three long ways, two short ways - to the bottom.

Stack a layer of canned goods, maybe some baby food and toiletries, followed by a layer of clothes or towels or another random packing item.

Seal the box with five more pieces of tape, load it and be ready for another.

Crawfordsville residents weren't moving, but they were following a recipe for others who were. No one really knew who they were helping, but the cars of goods rarely stopped last weekend at the Hoosiers Helping the Heartland drive.

It wasn't like people were bringing trash and wanting us to sort it out. Most of the items delivered were brand new. There were only a few items I didn't see loaded into Deb Cedars' semi - croutons and Crock-Pots, to name a couple. Maybe some items can be purchased with the close to $10,000 in cash, checks and gift certificates donated.

After three-and-a-half hours of work, I became pretty proficient at using a tape gun. It's not a difficult piece of machinery. Besides the 20 shopping carts I taped together at the Crawfordsville Square Kroger, everything went just fine.

Thank-yous were said frequently, but they were genuine. And the thanks didn't include those from the people receiving goods. Everyone was in good spirits, helping even if they didn・t exactly know what they were supposed to do.

I was impressed with the way many pitched in. Not only did people have enough to give to the Sapulpa people, but some also donated to the United States Postal Service drive. That's like giving your kid $40 for a night on the town and $15 more to fill up the car. Actually, as generous as the people were during the weekend, you might as well fill up the car yourself and throw in a sound system.

People donated loads of clothes, even more than my brother's two-month laundry pile. I saw silverware that had never been opened, toys still in the plastic and a lot of bathroom accessories. Even toothbrushes and toothpaste. The Sapulpa residents were getting more than they could have expected.

There・s an outside chance the community may be able to give more. There was talk about sending another load down full of furniture. If that's the case, I have a useable TV to donate. I・m sure people will come out of the woodworks again to furnish the materials.

Giving, sharing and taping are the three things I learned from it all. The scary thing is, the Crawfordsville people may have the hardest time with packing the truck. They sure didn't have trouble unpacking items from their hearts.