Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear Fellow Flower Lover,
It’s finally time for me to get rid of Old Red, my ancient Toyota pickup. Many of you know of Old Red, having given me a hard time at Pack Trials over the years, asking ‘When are you going to dump that piece of junk (I am paraphrasing here)?’ I’ve had Old Red for over 19 years now, having bought it the week before I started working for Goldsmith Seeds. The darn thing now has over 357,000 miles and has only let me down once, just a couple of months ago while camping in Northern California. Wound up replacing the fuel pump in a campground. I’ve only changed the clutch once, and have never had to monkey around with the engine or transmission. The rascal doesn’t hardly even burn oil! So over the years I have become perhaps a little too attached to this truck. ..
Not too far in the past, I thought I would just drive this thing until it either blew up or got wrecked (no worries about it getting stolen). However, one restless night a couple of months ago, I had an inspiration: why not get more out of Old Red than the junk yard would give me, like using Old Red to help raise funds for a needy charity! But what charity, and how could I use it to raise funds? With my personal history I decided to find a needy organization that helps Guatemala. Our industry really benefits from the fantastic work in seed and cutting production that is performed in Central America, so why not try to give something back to them? So I Googled “charities Jalapa Guatemala” (Jalapa is the town where we used to do geranium cutting production and still produce seeds) and lo and behold, I found a group named Latin American Medical Providers (LAMP). This is a group of wonderful volunteer doctors that makes an annual pilgrimage to Jalapa to provide free medical and dental care to the residents of the town and surrounding villages. After speaking with the founders, I decided to actually drive Old Red from Gilroy to Jalapa in order to raise funds for this charity. And no I am not going to drive it back; there is an orphanage in town that I am going to donate Old Red to.
My wife (yes, my wife Ruth is going as well) and I are leaving on this odyssey the day after Thanksgiving, and expect to arrive in Jalapa around the 11th of December. We’ll be doing a blog along the way (insert link here) so you can keep track of our progress and perhaps have a chance to wish us all the best if Old Red breaks down or whatever.
Please join me in helping: I am asking you (and anyone you can convince) to help fund the LAMP doctors so they can keep helping the needy residents of Jalapa. I think it is the least we, as an industry, can do for the folks in Central America since they do so much that benefits us. I think if my wife and I can drive the more than 3500 miles to Jalapa then you can pony up a few bucks in order to support these selfless doctors. I suggest a donation of 2 cents per mile, or $70.00, but of course you can donate whatever you like. And, all donations are tax deductible. Please go to their website at www.lampcharity.org/donate and make your donation now. And please spend some time checking out their site so you can see all the wonderful things they do. There’s a very inspirational video there that may just inspire you to donate even more!
Thanks from the bottom of my heart in advance for your generous donation. I have personally travelled to Guatemala over 60 times and have found that the Guatemaltecos are some of the kindest, hardest working and most generous people I know, and I can proudly say that many of them are some of my best friends. I also know that without them and other Central Americans, we would not as an industry have the quantity or quality of flower seeds and cuttings that are available to us now, so it wouldn’t hurt to give back a little to such wonderful people.
-Don Snow

1 comment:

  1. Hola and adios, Don and Ruth!
    It's about 3:15 pm here, so I figure that you have probably traveled about 450 miles (assuming that you excited early-risers shoved off about 6 am and have averaged 50 mph in Old Red). What a great day you must be having!
    We had a great Thanksgiving with the brothers. You were a major topic of our table conversation. Your adventuresome sister-in-law Nisi was wishing she could have stowed away.
    Dad and I send you our love and blessings for a super trip.
    Don's mom...