One Good Tree Can Make a Million Matchsticks

“It takes one tree to make a thousand matchsticks,

but it only takes one matchstick to burn down a thousand trees.”


I had a wonderful vacation. It was nice to be back this week, though we came in to find some harsh surprises! The gas was off and so none of our ovens or big kettle worked.

We managed to cut up the turkeys and bake them faster in fewer ovens downstairs and opened just half an hour late. The turkeys from Food Finders were delicious and well received by our guests!

I also came back to find that Volunteer Coordinator, Steve Leary, had been talking with Justin Rudd and had accepted a huge load of clothing and shoes for our needy people.

My husband and I picked that up and Sunday we sorted it in Patterson Hall before guests arrived. Bethany from Sol Foot and Ankle also brought in several boxes of shoes and stayed to help with our give away store.  We were able to give it out with the help of 49 volunteers over the course of the day.

The day after I arrived home last week we joined community partners from Mental Health America, Downtown Long Beach Business Associates, Multi-Service Center, and the Quality of Life Police in Lincoln Park doing outreach and telling people there about resources they could get to better their lives. Some of the people did come in to our Drop-In-Center Sunday to further explore how we could help them so I was busy!

This week I gave assistance with rent to 2 woman, helped a gentleman with storage fees so he wouldn’t lose all his belongings, and bought Greyhound tickets for a young couple to go back home to Bangor, Maine as they just aren’t making a go of it here.

Others I offered information, referrals, hope and a prayer that all things could be made new in their lives.

We have young mothers struggling to get into apartments. I have one ready with a promise from First Five to help with the deposit and rent for a few months if she can just find a two bedroom apartment for around $1100. Just not enough affordable housing!

I’m still interviewing for a part-time Program Manager/Chef. Send me some people.

Remember all things are connected in the universe, so influence it positively. One good tree can make a million match sticks, however, only one match stick in the wrong hands can burn a million trees. We have a choice to do good, build, and improve our world or be destructive. It’s up to all of us.

Arlene