The following article was published in the John Lothian Newsletter on Friday, November 26:
Happy Thanksgiving from Tim Lothian
Hey, I am back! And lucky for your wallet I am not asking for money this time. If you not familiar with me, I am Tim Lothian, and my dad publishes this newsletter, etc. Last time I was here I was asking for you to buy popcorn to support Scouting and my scouting activities and for you to donate money for homelessness. Both went well, I sold $1500 work of popcorn, more than enough to pay for my scouting activities for the year. I also collected $400 for Sleep Out Saturday, enough to house 16 people for a night. As for the sleeping out part, it was 35 degrees and I subsequently came down with a case of strep throat. I don't recommend that part.
Anyways, I want to sincerely thank you for all the help. I deeply appreciate it. Now the week after Sleep Out Saturday and I was all healthy, but still on antibiotics, my family and I went to help at Family Day at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The Greater Chicago Food Depository distributes food to more than 650 soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters in the Cook County area. they serve 678,000 men, women and children each year. That number really opened my eyes.
Now that you know that, I can tell you what we were doing there. We were part of the "Orange Team," so we were putting single person emergency food boxes together. Each box should last a person 3 to 4 days. Each box went around a line of volunteers on a conveyor belt, and each person would put a different food item in the box. My brother, sister, mom and dad were all on the line unpacking peanut butter, jelly and canned fruit so that it could be put in boxes. I was at the end of the line loading boxes onto wood pallets to be taken by forklifts into the warehouse. On the day, we packed 999 boxes (only because we ran out of boxes) after setting a goal of 800.
After all the work, we went on a tour of the building, which by the way is massive. We went into the warehouse of food, and it blew my mind. It had a 40 foot ceiling and was about 3 times the size of a Costco warehouse store, and stocked to the ceiling with food. (I said if there was a zombie apocalypse, I would want to be there.) It was amazing.
OK, I have to admit I fibbed a little. I am not going to ask for money, but I am going to recommend that you donate money to the Greater Chicago Food depository, or a similar organization in your own community. That or donate food. Even though the Greater Chicago Food Depository has that huge warehouse full of food, everything turns over in about a month. And even though each year they feed 678,000 people, that is sadly not all the hungry people in the Chicago area. Also, there were good portions of that warehouse that had empty shelves.
That did not make me feel good. So the next time I go there, I'd love to see those shelves with food on them.
Before we left they told us to tell 5 people about what we did and what goes on there, so I decided to exceed expectations and tell the thousands of people that read this newsletter. So try and do something, and go to www.chicagosfoodbank.com.
Thanks for actually listening to what a 15 year old has to say. I hope it made a difference. Until next time, goodbye.