Our Day at CAFB
By the end of the day, we were guzzling water like pelicans and rubbing our callused fingers. It wasn’t easy work, and for most of us, it wasn’t easy to get there- two of us had to take the metro and walk, one of us had hurt his foot and walked with a limp, and one of us wore the wrong shoes and almost wasn’t let in… But we walked, we persevered, we shared masks and socks, and we were lent shoes by a lovely lady from the front desk. By the end of the day, we felt fantastic.
At NobleCanni, we pride ourselves on being noble and good… But anybody can say that. Not everybody will actually walk the walk. And we’re a new company, we’re fresh in the world of CBD, but we’re determined to walk that walk. So yesterday, we did.
Six of our team members came, from left to right in the picture above: Emily Benack, George Monahan, George Hughes, Ali Toghral, Emma Knox (me), and Taylor Hunter. We did various things, all of us, but specifically, Emily was on soup duty, Monahan on potatoes, Hughes on cereal, Ali on green beans, me on one juice, and Taylor on another juice. The day went like this: we unpacked boxes, deconstructed boxes, unwrapped food packaging, moved foods, moved pallets, moved boxes, built boxes, taped boxes, stacked boxes, and packed boxes with food items. But really, it was much more than that… We made friends with the other volunteers (one of whom, come to find out, is married to a personal chef and used to own his own business), the ladies at the front desk, and everybody we encountered. We told them we’d be back and we fully intend to hold that promise.
The Capital Area Food Bank is located along the northeast edge of DC at 4900 Puerto Rico Avenue Northeast. It’s the enormous building three fields long, red brick in some places and white in others. It’s the one where, once you walk in the volunteer entrance, you immediately feel welcome. We were greeted by two wonderful ladies at the front desk, then seated at very clean tables and very clean chairs. Our CEO, Ali, got a coffee at the machine–and said it was phenomenal–beside multiple vending machines on a wall adjacent to the mural-like wall pictured above. Then, we were escorted kindly through the building, told about the place and no, you can’t walk under there, it’s not safe and then welcomed into the room with all the other volunteers, all just as warm and kind as everybody else we’d met. And upon leaving, we were escorted out, our doors held open by new friends, and urged to come back. We grinned and said absolutely we would.
At the end of the day, we were told that we packed 633 boxes. Helped 633 people. Fed 633 hungry mouths. Isn’t that amazing? There were 633 people nearby, hungry and wanting for food, and we helped them eat. 30-ish people, six of whom were ours, helped over six hundred people yesterday. It amazes me still. As someone who hasn’t worked with charity for a decade, but has always desperately wanted to, this was the best opportunity. When you aren’t directly connected with a church or the like, chances for charity don’t exactly fall at your feet (and in some cases, don’t have space for you), so NobleCanni’s choice to reach out to the community yesterday made my day worthwhile. My week worthwhile, even. I have an obscene callus on my left middle finger, but damn if it wasn’t worth it. Every one of us feels that way.
Talk about a beautiful day.