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Rise Up.
Hugh Tilson


One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three.
Release the sealer.
Tip the bag to test the seam.
Put the bag to the side.
Reach the bin between John and me.
Pull out the next bag.
Squeeze out the air and flatten the top.
Insert it into the sealer.
Close the bar.
One-one=thousand … and repeat the cycle, again, and again, and again.

Can you imagine doing this for a living?

But for one glorious hour, this repetitive simple manual task is a great equalizer. Doctors, lawyers, housekeepers, cooks, and senior staff, all pitching in. all wearing hairnets. Most wearing Carolina Meadows tee shirts: “Enriching and Improving Lives” the slogan for us all! All equals. Nearly two hundred residents and employees working together, celebrating this important collective volunteer effort to help in the campaign to end world hunger.

Jointly sponsored by our Office of Community Relations, our Residents Association Committee on Community Outreach and the Wellness and Engagement Committee, we committed to packing over 10,000 more bags of vital nutritional materials: — rice, soy, and nutritional supplements — than our 25,000 record-breaking effort last year. We met our goal packaging 35,000 meals, and with each one serving six individuals, our collective impact could feed 210,000 individuals around the world.

This was the month, June 2019, for Carolina Meadows’ annual fundraiser to help address hunger in our local County, Chatham, by soliciting our usual very generous donations to the food Pantry CORA.  So it made sense to couple this concerted local volunteer effort to the broader national fight hunger worldwide working with the Rise Against Hunger philanthropy.

I looked around the room. The music was booming loudly … “Stayin’ Alive” at the moment. Amy, our Community Relations Director was doing her disco moves as she hustled bringing rice supplies and trouble-shooting the loading stations.  Ben, our Chief Operating Officer, was doing … well … anything that needed doing.  Teams were dutifully scooping rice or soy through funnels into a bag held by a fellow volunteer. Then the shuttle team brought the stuffed bags over to our table for the weighing and quality assurance step, handled adeptly by my team-mate John and over thirty others sitting across the table from us bag-pressers.

A bonding experience, this amazing cheerful teamwork.

Stayin’ alive indeed.

Hugh Tilson
Happy Bag Sealer
5 June 2019

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