Corrections or additions?

This column was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 24,

1999. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines: Eden Institute

Do we at U.S. 1 Newspaper deserve to be called helping

hands — or not? We think not, but first some background.

Helping Hands are the people we choose to honor in the last issue

of every year, for their efforts above and beyond anything they do

in their regular jobs to help others in need or to help make our

community

a better place. Over the years this annual feature, begun in 1986,

has cited dozens of people who have given in dozens of different ways:

teaching prisoners how to read; assisting AIDS patients; working with

troubled young people; playing Santa for underprivileged kids;

comforting

terminally ill patients and their families; managing logistics for

the Red Cross; counseling the unemployed; and other endeavors. Our

next Helping Hands issue comes Wednesday, December 22.

We ask the rhetorical question about U.S. 1 because some people have

suggested that we deserve a mention this year, for our decision to

hire two clients of the Eden Institute program to help deliver our

newspaper every Wednesday.

But we think not. First, our interaction with the Eden Institute

workers,

young autistic adults, is not something we are doing outside of our

normal working day — it’s part of doing business for us. A better

candidate for the Helping Hands role might be Peter Dawson, president

of Leigh Photo and Imaging and an active supporter of Eden in his

spare time. Dawson recommended the Eden program to us (just as we

now recommend it to you — call 609-987-0099 for information).

Second, we have to say that the Eden Institute workers are helping

us as much as we are helping them. At a time when finding fulltime

workers is especially tough, finding people to fill our once-a-week

delivery role is especially difficult. Just when we think we have

all our routes set we discover that someone has just found a fulltime

job and is no longer available, or that someone else is leaving for

Florida for the winter, or that another person’s class schedule has

changed and he or she is no longer available on Wednesdays.

Working under the supervision of a "job coach," who doubles

as a driver, the Eden workers — Antonio Leon and Michael Bindi

— show up every week without fail, filling the several dozen news

boxes that we have scattered though downtown Princeton and at the

Princeton Junction train station. For some of our deliverers, counting

out the exact number of papers to be placed in each box, and counting

the exact number of the previous week’s issues leftover have been

tasks apparently beneath their level of expertise and interest. Not

so with Antonio and Bill, who painstakingly count and record the flow

of papers through each box.

We would like to give these Eden workers even more, but — guess

what — like good workers everywhere, they are busy. This is all

the schedule permits. We are just glad they are here to help us.

So hold the applause this year for U.S. 1. But consider the helping

hands in your corner of the world. Nominations are welcomed: Fax

(609-452-0033)

or E-mail (info@princetoninfo.com) a paragraph or so describing

the person and the activity for which they should be honored. On

December

22 we will turn on the spotlights.


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