Heroes Of The Week!

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I cannot believe we are at the intersection of Get and Down already! This year has moved more quickly than Harry Styles in a Forever 21 store. Not that we’re complaining, exactly. Not when 2021 has been a combustible sequel to the unforgettably forgettable year before. But hey, let’s not dwell on the rearview when the dashboard is knocking boots and the road ahead might yet prove to be yellow bricked.

Let’s get to the roster instead . . .

Grocery delivery, pickup expands at Whole Foods | Supermarket News

This week’s “Oh . . ma Gawd!” prize goes to anyone who was the least bit surprised that Prime has slapped a surcharge of $9.95 to its grocery delivery service. Pissed? That I can understand, but surprised? For one thing, the grocery delivery business model was fraught with obstacles before the pandemic. For another, Jeff Bezos’ promise to make Whole Foods prices more affordable when he bought the company for $13.7 billion four years ago has stalled. And lastly . . oh ma Gawd! . . Prime slaps a price on everything, people!

Food Stash Foundation (@FoodStashFdn) | Twitter

We’re gonna chase those blews away quickaly, by posting a shout out to the Food Stash Foundation for combating food waste. This is an issue that really plucks my fiddle, as I feel that the food we waste on a daily basis in this country is akin to criminal negligence.

Well, I learned something. Our pals to the north have it just as bad as us when it comes to the matter. And food waste seems to be a really big problem in picturesque Vancouver, of all places. I mean . . who knew? Other than the good people at the Food Stash Foundation, who make it their business to know these things and then to do something about them.

They’ll be opening the doors on a “Rescued Food Market” today. For three hours every Friday, everyone is welcome to “pay what you feel” in order to get food out of a landfill and onto dinner tables. The foundation collects food from wholesalers, grocers and farms and delivers it to other organizations. Even still they’re left with a surplus most times and so they needed a place to offload this surplus. Thankfully, they’ve been helped by a new piece of legislation that absolves companies of liability for releasing food that is out of its best by date.

This is great good work without a surcharge.

Javier Folgar is the owner of TOA Waters- a company specializing in bath products. To commemorate the one year anniversary of his business in September, he decided to create a blog post highlighting the year that was. He used the photos from a scrapbook his mother had made for him last Christmas when his company was just a few months old.

Once he’d finished with the photos he packed up his stuff to return the scrapbook to mom, who had a few more additions to make. He placed the scrapbook on top of his car and packed his gear up before heading to mama’s place. So excited was he that umm . . yeah, well . . he forgot to retrieve the scrapbook from the top of his car.

This is where good neighbors make all the difference because no sooner had he stopped for gas than he received a text from one of his neighbors, informing him she had his scrapbook. Most of it. And then a funny beautiful thing happened, minute by minute, hour by hour, neighbor to neighbor. More and more people came forward with the lost pages to this special memento until it was whole again.

“When I think about it, it was very symbolic of how my parents have always looked after me, even as an adult. My mother, without hesitation, even offered to remake that scrapbook for me because she knew how much it meant to me,” Javier says.

Believe in the better angels, because well . . there’s something to that.

If you’re like me, the name Jan Zwartendijk didn’t mean anything to you until you started reading up on what this man accomplished during his time on this earth. But after you learn just a little bit about him, you’ll be thankful that you live in a world that he once called home.

And now, forty-five years since his passing comes a new biography- The Just: How Six Unlikely Heroes Saved Thousands of Jews From The Holocaust. It details how Zwartendijk may have saved as many as 10,000 souls from the Holocaust.

One day he was selling gramophones and lightbulbs for the Philips Corporation in Lithuania and the next, he was a consul. And it was in this position that he dealt with the influx of Jewish refugees from Poland seeking his help. And in his words he began doing “what everyone would have done… if they had been in this position,”.

His humility was exceeded only by his prolific outreach as he would issue 2,139 passport visas to Jewish families for entry into the Dutch Caribbean colony of Curaçao. It was thanks to his signature and an official stamp that so many were saved from certain death. On reading the biography of his life, Stephen Spielberg wrote, “If I had known Jan Zwartendijk’s story before, I would have filmed that.” Which is one hell of a beautifully posthumous honor, and a well deserved one. But in the end what matters more than anything is that 95 percent of the people who crossed his path during that horrific period in our world’s history, survived. And it’s what he would tell you if he was here today. Because it really is the only thing that matters in the end.

His life was three-dimensional scripture, his resonance sewn into the cosmos by actions rather than words. Being soft spoken, reliable and trust worthy may not move the needle for most in this crazy world, but I assure you there are ten thousand people and then tens of thousands more who would disagree.

Here’s to the man whose echoes light those distant stars so that the world may always have light.

27 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. As always, a great ‘feel-good’ set of heros. I’m especially impressed with the story surrounding the efforts to reduce food waste. Thrilled to hear Folgar’s neighbors rallied to his side with the scrapbook. What a great punctuation mark of his first year in business. And who wouldn’t tip their hat and smile in their heart learning of Zwartendijk’s story. Humanity…may it live long and prosper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great episode today, Marc. I’m with you on food waste. It just doesn’t seem necessary given the technology we have today. The stuff doesn’t need to be shipped by mules so WTF people, save it. Great scrapbook story too. I have to agree Jan Zwartendijk was one of those rare folks who were not born to die. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. B

    October oneth already… Lordy that came fast!

    Of COURSE Prime has a surcharge for grocery deliveries. How can the poor company survive?

    Yay to Food Stash Foundation! We need one in every province, in every State! I am always shocked at the quantity of food that is simply thrown away. Why? Well, that cuke had a curve, the carrot was a Siamese twin, the tomato with … well, you get the picture. How did society become so demanding on the size and shape of their produce in the store? Most peeps who have a garden think it’s the coolest thing when their veggies are funky. Why is it a problem to sell? A friend of mine had an apple orchard. It was ridiculous. Apples for sale as apples had to be within a certain diameter, the rest, to the bin for apple sauce or juice. Really? Sorry. Getting off my soapbox now.

    What a beautiful story of community for Javier Folgar. It makes that scrapbook all the more special with an extra story to include within its boards.

    Jan Zwartendijk – try spelling that one three times fast. Took me three times to type it properly – was a name I was unfamiliar with, so thank you for bringing him to the light. Wow. 10,000 souls saved by him.

    Here’s to him indeed.

    Wonderful Heroes this week, B!

    And love your choice of song!

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      It’s the oneth, and mango did that first nine months go quickly, didn’t it? But still three months of goal ahead of us . . .

      Well, Bezos has lotsa bills and yanno . . times is tough and all. So yeah, a surcharge that should not be the least bit surprising if you have any experience with this company.

      And the irony of it all is that so many people NEVER touch a piece of fruit in the first place. Unless it’s the kind they put in those McDonald’s hot pocket apple pies, that is. And even then. So yeah, this foundation is doing the Lord’s work for sure.

      He was crushed, and then his neighbors stepped up and saved the day for the kid, and for mama.

      That statement by Spielberg, it kinda says it all don’t you think? What a remarkable human being, and may the cosmos bless his soul until the lights go out. Amen.

      To him.

      Gracias!

      Panic!!

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • It flew! And yes… three more months of chugging away at our goal.

        Yeah. Poor guy… had to find a way to make ends meet.

        Now THAT is true! They are the ones who bitch the loudest that the fruit/veg isn’t “perfect” Buahaha… hot apple pie (I do kinda like ’em on occasion, tho).

        I bet he was. Such a lovely neighbourly thing to do. Don’t see that too often.

        Yes, it does. Those are the ones who go quietly about their day, not trying to show off, nothing. Amen.

        To him.

        Gracias to you for sharing!

        At the Disco!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Just think, soon it will be weeks and then days and then . . . off it comes!

          He found a couple billion under his sofa cushions. It got him through the rough time and allowed him to take a little vacation into space.

          I like their apple pie hot pockets too. But there ain’t much that is natural tasting about those little buggers.

          No you don’t.

          He lived his quiet, simple life and yet his impact was resounding. So many stories were saved because of it. Amen indeed.

          Yaya!

          Like

  4. Angels walk the earth in unassuming garb. We never noticed them but by their actions they make us better people. If only we could be more like them what a different world we would live in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Props to all organizations and people who coordinated with grocery stores to help meet needs in their community. Seems so simple yet so under-utilized. A tip of the cap to any and all who worked to save lives in the Holocaust. The stories may comparatively be large and small – but wow – amazing work by all!

    Like

    • Jesus, Frank . . I’m sorry I missed this. Q let me know I missed this. I wouldn’t have even known at this point if not for her, shitty blogger that I have become.

      Yes, you are so right. The amount of food people waste is maddening to me. In a world where people struggle to feed their children, we have this kind of waste? That is unimaginably wrong to my senses as a human being. And it should be wrong, to everyone.

      Go Bengals!

      Like

  6. A friend living in Vancouver participates in Food Stash, the food rescue effort mentioned in your post. Each week he and other volunteers pick up “extra” food from restaurants and bakeries and, using their own vehicles, deliver it to nonprofits and entities that can make good use of the food. Win/win/win (adding a win for the folks, like my friend, who benefit by delivering the food, feeling helpful). It’s a model that should be copied widely.

    Another uplifting post – thanks, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s what has to happen everywhere. There is so much need and to have this epic waste going on is, like I said, akin to criminal negligence.

      Here’s to the good peeps.

      Thanks RW

      Like

  7. There has to be a better way to deal with foodstuff. Thanks for highlighting one solution. I do my best to throw nothing out. Sometimes it ends up in the compost, but rarely in the trash. It’s harder for stores and restaurants, I know, but for the latter, portion control is out of control. Why are they dishing up 2000 calorie meals?

    Liked by 1 person

    • And we have the means in this country. There is no excuse for what happens here. It shouldn’t happen here.

      I am a stickler for it too. On the occasions where something does go bad, I make sure critters somewhere are treated if it’s safe for them.

      I remember being in a school many years ago and seeing all the lunches that were placed on a table. Kids didn’t like it, it wasn’t the popular lunch. I asked a cafeteria worker what happens with them and she said they’re thrown out. Outrageous. Long story short, I had Salisbury steak in my freezer for a month. Horrible stuff but I felt like, no. . it can’t ALL go to waste. Beer helped.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been boycotting Amazon for about 6 years now.
    I have my GOOD reasons. Also, does Jeff Bezos need to keep getting richer off our poor backs with his inconvenient convenience?
    It all began – After years and years of spending lots of $$$$ on Amazon, I bought a book of poetry at the top of a year, Right after New Year’s. …$18.00 + shipping.
    After reading it, I wrote a review, as I always did. I got an email message from amazon saying that my review was being rejected. The reason; I hadn’t spent $50.00 yet that year. It was still January!!!!!
    That is extortion in my mind!

    Jan Zwartendijk is a true hero!

    Liked by 1 person

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