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Thread: Representing The Club

  1. #1
    VCVC Member
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    Representing The Club

    Last week I did a week's worth of volunteer time at the Salvation Army Distribution Center in Chico, California.
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    Chico is down the hill from where the town of Paradice burnt to the ground a few weeks ago. The first responders are pretty much done with the major stuff so 2nd and 3rd responders are left with making sure other needs are filled. The Salvation Army was really good to my brother when he was on the ropes a couple of years ago so I figured I'd volunteer over there.

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    That's Rick in the background. He has been there from the start. This location takes in donations and distributes them to needy families. Pallets and pallets of every type of supply you can think of comes into this warehouse. Everything needs to be unboxed, sorted and organized onto shelves. I was there for four days running 10 hours a day. One day stock shelves, next day families come in and get stuff they need. Shoes, clothes, blankets, diapers, food, water, you name it. Just during the time I was there, we served over 400 families. While the boss gave me the OK to go down there, I was flying the club colors the whole time. Thanks to 65Dream, I had plenty of T shirts with the club logo and there was no missing the 69 in the parking lot (the one that needs a paint job real bad).

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    So my first job was sorting shoes. Think of a large quantity of donated shoes, all brand new but mixed up into a large box. Some had only one shoe as they were just samples but most just needed to find their match. Can't put them on the shelf without a match. So shoe sorting is the first job. Not a very glamorous job but hey, people need shoes and they should match. Here's a pic of what my "shoe sorting room" looks like after a few rounds.

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    After that, I was promoted to women's fashion. (Yeah, yeah, I can hear the snickering now.) I'm hanging coats, pants and shirts. Some of the clothing is actually designer label apparel with the tags still on them. Check out this one. I wonder who out in a real store would pay that for that?

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    I noticed that lots of stuff I was doing was being redone by the other ladies. I was the only guy there and I'm feeling kind of like I'm not doing so good. Finally one lady volunteer said to me "Don't you know anything about women's fashion"? UH, no, sorry I replied sheepishly. (I came equipped to diagnose and repair cars, drive a forklift, and maybe fix stuff.) Well she must have talked to someone because I was soon promoted again. This time something that I could handle and would probably not have to be redone. Dumping the garbage.

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    Finally a job that was more suited to me. Yes, I can excel at some things with the full confidence and satisfaction of knowing that it won't have to be redone. Luckily I brought a week's worth of VCVC T shirts since this was kind of a nasty job. Oh well, they need it done and I'm here to help. Well the first day is done and I'm rung out.


    I was planning to just camp somewhere nearby but they let me stay in the parking lot. They were nice enough to let me use a power cord so I ran it to van. Of course I didn't remember to bring a heater and overnight lows were expected to be below freezing. I did have two nice sleeping bags and it turns out I had my Master Heat Gun so I fired up the heat gun to knock down the chill. It's been some time since I camped out in the van and I've also deferred some maintenance as you can see from the patch of paint that has fallen off the right rear. So the Heat Gun is working OK but is kinda noisy and the van is full of tools since I was expecting to help out some of the people that were living in their cars full time. I soon realized that the Van's carburetor was needing some work since I could smell fuel while trying to sleep. Also, that Master Heat Gun is not really made for space heating and if it tips over at night then that's gonna be a problem. Hmmm, so what do I do? Freeze, catch fire or breathe fuel vapors all night? Decisions, decisions. Soon enough the vapors dissipated and I decided to shut off the Heat Gun since I couldn't sleep anyways with it buzzing in my ear all night. I was looking around in the back of the van and found a small bottle of Tequila that I had stashed in there some years ago. I remember thinking that one day It would come in handy, and boy did it. Took the chill off and put me right to sleep.

    The next few days and I'm starting to hit my stride. I'm figuring out how the place works, where they need the help and I just stay busy. The bulk of my time was spent in the pantry. Fork lift and pallet jack the boxes of food in, put it up on shelves and bust down the boxes. The families we served were clearing out food at an incredible pace. Piles of empty boxes needed to be busted down and moved out. I got real quick with that box cutter.

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    I was mopping floors, unclogging toilets, organizing shelves, singing to them, answering questions and welcoming families. I gotta say some of these families looked really beat down. Some were still waiting for a FEMA trailer or had not enough warm clothes or shoes. The Salvation Army organization is awesome in my opinion. They don't ask them a lot of questions but they do require ID and try to make sure that the people get what they need.

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    The next few days are a blurr. One day stock, the next day serve, then repeat. I have a much higher opinion of the Salvation Army now that I have seen their work up close. The next time I see one of those bell ringers in front of the store, I'll dig a little deeper. BTW, I was told by the manager that teams of volunteers came before. He said the Sikh church came with busloads of workers. These are the guys that wear the beards and colorfull head ware. He said those guys worked their @ss off. I also saw entire families of Christian Chinese workers volunteering. I would like to go back but may not be allowed more time away from work. Anyway, that's my story.

    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
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    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  2. #2
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    Representing The Club

    Salute
    Gary
    1965 Display

  3. #3
    VCVC Member van-itti's Avatar
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    Thank you my friend.

    Above and beyond.
    Last edited by van-itti; 01-07-2019 at 03:30 PM.
    Mike

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    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Mark, you the man.
    1966 Chevy Sportvan seafoam green/white
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    230 straight six
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    200r4 w/stock auto shifter, custom hanger, 96 suburban trans cooler
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  5. #5
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    I think that the Wikipedia entry for 'selfless' should have your picture.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

  6. #6
    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    Im not surprised by this; I've always known Mark to be a person of integrity.
    Thank you for your service to others.

    Michel
    Don't ask me!! I'm still stuck on "who am I?" and "What do I want?"

    1965 G10 all window "ChevyVan" with 1988 305 Tuned port injection V8, 700R4, 1980 10 bolt posi.
    1968 G10 "sportVan Custom" under construction.

  7. #7
    Administrator smiley's Avatar
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    As we’ve come to know, you are certainly one of a kind. Very proud to know you, Mark. “Selfless” is a very apt description of your character. Thank you for sharing, and representing.
    1966 Chevy Display, "Southern Belle"
    1968 Chevy, "Blue Overdose"

  8. #8
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    I needed to read a story like that one .......

    Thank you for your service to your fellow Man.

    .......Wookee
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

  9. #9
    VCVC Member Coop's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thank you

    You are a great man Mark. There should be more like you in this world. Cheers.
    [SIGPIC]
    1968 90" Chevy van
    250ci I6 4l60e Trans

  10. #10
    VCVC Member rarechev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coop View Post
    You are a great man Mark. There should be more like you in this world. Cheers.
    I'll second that. thank you Mark.
    1970,350, 700R4, power tilt steering, power brakes, power windows

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