This year we didn’t get to pack tortillas, nor did we bag onions with tears streaming down our faces (also known as a German sitcom), instead we bagged all of the apples. This year’s Twin Cities Hiram College Alumni Volunteer Day was spent at Second Harvest Heartland in sunny suburban Minneapolis.
Anyway, here are 10 things I learned during AVD:
1. Hiram people are good people. We joke a lot about the “Hiram Hi” but in reality, it’s just an extension of who we are as a community. I had no worries that our non-Hiram attendees would feel excluded or left out. It was the opposite and reminds me of the values instilled in us during our time at the school.
2. If you give me any object that slightly resembles a ball and a target, I will always pretend that I’m making the backhanded flip from second to the shortstop on a double play.
3. In ninety minutes, about fifty people can pick, bag and pack 9000 pounds of apples. That creates 7031 meals. Our small Hiram AVD group combined to bag 1144 of those meals.
4. Any event can be prom when Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain” comes on the radio. For example, this year’s theme was “A Magical Night in the Warehouse.”
5. According to Second Harvest Heartland, one in six Minnesota children is at risk of hunger. 40% of the members of households they help feed are under the age of 18. Minnesota families will miss nearly 100 million meals each year
6. After an hour of picking apples, gray tainted rubber gloves resembles a visual metaphor for the Industrial Revolution.
7. In our two and a half hours in the building, I think we saw four total employees. Second Heartland is an organization that truly relies on volunteers to package and ship 85 million tons of food.
8. I could *really* go for a cider right now.
9. Bagging apples is tedious work, and puts into perspective the time and effort it takes to get an apple from the orchard to the grocery store. Something I don’t think we’re generally aware of as we pick one and place it in a little plastic bag before plopping it into our cart.
10. AVD conversations always seem to revolve around coffee, beer, music and how from 1976 to 1996 nothing on campus changed at all. Except how those jerks that came after us got things like cable and internet connections IN THEIR ROOMS or how I’m the jerk that actually had a phone in my room, like I’m the Queen of England or something.
10a. I’m already looking forward to AVD 2015.