Tomorrow after church, I will lead the Pathfinders on a food drive, so there are plenty of things that I need to do before then so we can be ready.

Can Collecting is done in two phases. During the first we distribute bags with letters stapled to them. The letters explain what we’re doing, and how the recipient of said bag can help. Phase two is when we go around and collect the bags.

In the morning I need to make 300 copies of the letter (I bought some orange paper for this) so the kids can staple them onto the bags. I also need to prepare maps so I can hand them out to the drivers, and I need to figure out which kids are going with which drivers. Each driver will also need copies of the medical release forms in case of emergency. So I have some photocopying to do tomorrow.

Two years ago when we did this, we were working the collection phase, when one of the kids (a first-year member) went up to a house, looked in the bag on the porch, and then returned to the car without it. Here’s how that went:

Girl: I don’t think that one was for us.
Me: Did it have food in it?
Girl: Yes.
Me: Then I think it is for us. Who would leave food in a bag on their back porch on the very day we’re collecting cans for a food drive?
Girl: I dunno.
Me: Go get the bag.

She went and got the bag. When we got back, we were sorting the food, and we found one that had tulip bulbs in it. And fertilizer. It only took me a couple of moments to realize what had happened. She thought the tulip bulbs were onions, so when I asked if there was food in the bag, she thought there was.

We had stolen someone’s gardening supplies.

The next day I returned to the house where we had found the bulbs. There were bags of mulch piled up along the sidewalk, and all kinds of gardening evidence. I rang the bell, but I secretly heaved a tremendous sigh of relief when no one answered. I put the bag of bulbs (and fertilizer) back on the porch and made a hasty retreat.

Hopefully, we will not repeat that error this year.