As we settle in to the New Year, we reflect on the incredible generosity of this community. This year, Neighbors Helping Neighbors delivered holiday food baskets to 130 families feeding close to 500 people in our valley. The Manger Mall put a smile on the faces of over 200 local children as they had a gift to open on Christmas morning.
Monetary donations, in addition to toys, pillows, blankets, books and food, came from businesses, organizations and individuals both locally and outside the Methow Valley. Our donation jars were emptied weekly and every penny made a difference as we collected over $1,000.
Hank Konrad continues to open his heart to this community and Neighbors Helping Neighbors is no exception to his generosity. Thank you Hank Konrad, Jimmy Gariano and everyone at Hank’s Harvest Foods for your smiles, warmth and assistance year, after year, after year!
Thank you to the Twisp Valley Grange, which has allowed the Manger Mall to take over their facility for an entire week and to the “angels” who provide us with special and unique items for the drawing that adds extra sparkle and excitement to the day.
Methow Valley Elementary collected over 3,000 non-perishable items to contribute to the holiday food baskets. This surpassed collections over the past few years by over 1,000 items! Okanogan County Fire District 6 Firefighters successfully executed another Porch Night Pick Up yielding a bundle of non-perishable items and monetary donations.
Thank you to the Methow Valley News for the incredibly generous weekly articles, Methownet for the bulletin board ad and our local radio stations (K-Root, KOZI, Sunny FM, KTRJ, KNCW) for the daily PSAs. Katie Bristol and her staff at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery fed our volunteers. Rocking Horse Bakery, the Methow ValleyUnited Methodist Church (donated cookbooks), the Chandler family, Chelan Fruit and Trail’s End Bookstore all contributed something special for our families. And to our countless volunteers; the Manger Mall angels, packers, sorters, gift collectors, sewers, wrappers, bakers, set-up, tear-down, inventory, shoppers, drivers — we appreciate your help more than words can say and could never do this without all of you!
Jennifer Elden, program manager, Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Diane Johnston and Kathryn Eisenhauer, co-chairs, Manger Mall
What to do?
Makes sense to focus this year towards vision of the past, present and future, taking stock in what, how and because of who are we able to do what, for who. The per capita standard quality of life, specific to the Methow Valley, is grossly unsustainable. Building materials are trucked in, briefly rest and are deployed to their rural acreage where fire flies of concentration will buzz briefly before leaving the structure to be worn down by nature’s relentless intention to compost.
Monetarily flush, most fireflies will outsource for toys, capitalism’s shiny red herring. Others will outsource for luxuries, or art, capitalism’s false-pride-charade, illusionary threshold of status, security, accomplishment. Ouch.
Switching gears slightly, let’s look at what Apple has done to allow customers to walk their consciousness talk. Apple’s phones allow a person to monitor their microwave support slash consumption slash habitual use, by replacing “microwave” with “time,” negating truth. Hmm …
Hesitating slightly to allow for a smooth transition, let’s now shift our front derailleur, go one ring higher, slowing our thoughts down to apply and receive more energy per these next sentence cycles.
The first and second laws of thermodynamics: “Energy is never created or destroyed it only changes states. Entropy reins.”
Imagine if our home and toys spoke of (just) the humanitarian atrocities associated with each penny of material-sweat-wealth paid into each product. Imagine if persons over age 24 were subject to hearing the geologic, humanitarian and carbon footprint associated with each drive driven, flight flown, golf ball whacked, book read, fish hooked. Capitalism on consciousness.
Are we nature’s entropy?
Material-homeostasis, in the intentional sense [of the (invented) word] is a dichotomous discipline with austerity opposite comfort untethered from emotional-free-will, cerebral-driven.
What can we do? The game changer is simple, not easy, perspective, Gandhi. Just before being diagnosed with Lyme and associated co-infections, and losing most all my toys to the Carlton Complex, I started barefoot running. Shocked at the level of enjoyment, I wished to be granted more of this joy-from-simplicity in my life, whammo. Reverent human intention transforms material well being.
Adversity: It’s where opportunity presents.
Brandon Sheely, Okanogan/Twisp
Tom Gehring, Twisp