Original Entry Date: December 3, 2016
Written by: Jonathan Stufft
It was Gail’s first time helping. She was a willing servant, but also a busy business owner.
She had carved out time to come help, and even offered her truck for doing home deliveries. Gail is a good friend, and I was looking forward to having the chance to show her why we liked doing what we do when we deliver produce door to door.
As we made our way up and down the cold streets of the city, I had to do a lot of knocking on doors. It wasn’t like when the weather was warm and people were out and about everywhere. She drove the truck along some roads we hadn’t been on up to this point, as I went up and down knocking on doors.
If someone answered, we would deliver produce. It wasn’t as fast as when people were outside, but it worked. Gail was catching my enthusiasm, but questioning me quietly on the side as well. One such case was as I walked up to a house that was clearly pretty rough. The signs on the porch read, “No solicitors” and “No trespassing.” There was a thick board spanning the opening of the front porch that said two things: one, you are not welcome, and two, when paired with the ”Beware of Dog” sign, that there was likely a dog present.
I stepped over and boldly knocked on the door with my best policeman knock. I could see the raised eyebrows on Gail’s face as she stood safely back by the truck. A kind young man answered the door. He politely refused the need for produce, and I was on my way.
Back by the truck, Gail said, “I was beginning to question your judgment there. The signs were pretty clear, and when you stepped over the board blocking the porch, well…” and she trailed off.
“Gail, the way I see it, is if I go out giving away produce, then I died doing what I was supposed to do,” I answered. We shared a smile and moved onto the next stop.
Not too far down the road, Gail got to see just why it is we do what we do. We knocked on the door of what looked to be the best kept house in the neighborhood. A soft-spoken older woman came to the door. She gladly accepted the produce we had to offer, and even gave me a giant hug for giving it to her. She pointed out that she and a few of her neighbors look out for each other. She pointed across the drive to the house next door and said that he might like some produce as well. She also told us about the woman who lived across the street. That woman had had a stroke and a heart attack. She was legally blind and couldn’t really speak.
My mind immediately jumped to how we would even communicate with her, but the woman answered my questions before I could ask. She informed me that the woman’s brother would come to take care of her. He would be able to talk to us.
Across the street we went. Knock, knock, knock. Slowly, the door opened. We couldn’t see in the dark screen door, and she couldn’t see us for her lack of vision. We explained we were giving away free produce and asked if she would like some. She couldn’t articulate, but her head quickly went up and down as she said, “yneah.”
Gail brought in the produce. She asked the woman if she wanted it in the kitchen. Again, emphasized head shaking and “yneah.” Gail made her way down the hall to the kitchen and dropped the produce. As we left, Gail leaned over to me to tell me that the woman was heating her kitchen with her gas stove.
Gail knew why we were doing this...