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
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;
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
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
or E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) a paragraph or so describing
the person and the activity for which they should be honored. On
22 we will turn on the spotlights.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.