The Up Beat: Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Author’s note: With all of the negativity — the sturm und drang — of so much of the news we consume on a daily basis, we could all use a regular dose of positivity as a counterbalance. So, I’ve decided to carve out a little corner here to share good news/happy stories. Hope you enjoy.

Overturned trucks usually aren’t involved in good news stories. But I think this is one we might rightly be able to call a “happy accident”.

As reported by the Anchorage Daily News, a truck carrying thousands of pounds of food overturned on Glenn Highway (AK-1), roughly 100 miles outside of Anchorage this past Wednesday:

Late afternoon Wednesday, Justin Creech, who owns Vulcan Towing, got a call that there’d been an accident at Mile 98 of the Glenn Highway, and he and his team headed out. They found a trailer full of meat and fruit that had overturned in a ditch and began recovering it overnight. They salvaged what they could but heard the food company wouldn’t resell any of the items.

Creech, though, had an inspired idea: He reached out to Lisa Sauder, the executive director of Bean’s Cafe, a soup kitchen located in Anchorage. Per their Facebook page, “Bean’s Cafe is a non-profit that serves the hungry and homeless of Anchorage with food, shelter and social service referrals. We currently operate the largest shelter in Alaska, at the Sullivan Arena.”

After being contacted by Creech, Bean’s went to work securing proper storage for the food.

At that point, Greg Spears, the general manager at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, received a call Christmas Eve from Bean’s Cafe asking if they could help accommodate the thousands of pounds of food that would need a freezer. He said yes.

From there, they offloaded the pallets into the Dena’ina Center. Creech, his five children and a group of staff from Bean’s Cafe and the convention center all helped unload Thursday evening.

The timing of the unexpected donation was fortuitous — not only is it Christmas (and early in winter), many Alaskans are struggling due to the added economic hardship caused by COVID.  Their unemployment numbers remain high and, as noted by Sauder, they’re seeing an uptick in calls from people who’ve not previously struggled with providing food for their families.

Early Christmas morning, the cafe shared a post on Facebook expressing their gratitude:

“It’s been quite the Christmas Eve. In a year when things are upside down and people seem more distant than ever, we saw the true spirit of Alaskans. Coming together to make sure no one goes hungry or [unsheltered.] So many people worked behind the scenes to make this happen and offer support. Thank you all and Merry Christmas!”

Thanks to the quick thinking of towing company owner Creech, and the generous hearts of others, Alaskans were able to take the “lemons” of an unfortunate mishap and turn them into lemonade (or strawberry jam, as it were.)

And this serves as a timely reminder that food banks and soup kitchens are always in need of assistance. So, if you’re so inclined, please be sure to reach out to one near you and donate some food, some dollars, and/or some time.

God bless!


Let us know what you think in the Comments section, below. And if you come across any good news stories you’d like us to share here, please send them to [email protected].


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