LWA Blog

One Woman’s Love Without Agenda

Lisa O'Brien-Wentzel
She is up at 5 am every morning. First, to take care of a few pets, her paying job. Then, to take care of her family. Finally, to take care of people around her in need of a little help. She wants no pay, no prize, no pictures, no converts, no business connections. Liz is part of the food redistribution process. This is what that looks like: 7am every Friday freezing rain 100 degrees pick up truck strong arms the food and the people wait Using her husbands pick up truck, off we go to Trader Joes. Outside, 20 heavy garbage bags await. They are filled with unsaleable food, still healthy but not fully fresh. Huge bags of over ripe bananas, too much weight for the bag to carry, almost too much weight for our arms to pick up. Sometimes, we knock over the grocery cart to get the bag out and help each other lift the bag. Sometimes there are eggs in the bag, we keep an eye as so to remove them. Large bags of bread, apples, veggies and sometimes cheese with a tad of mold. Pies and cakes and treats will be enjoyed. We empty the grocery carts into the pickup truck, grateful for everything. Grateful to for our bicep workout. Grateful to make it easy for stores to donate. No complaining ever from us, everyone pitching in to help is what this is about. Working in the cold is better for the food than the heat of the summer. Next, off to Costco. Baskets and baskets of bakery items. This is a sport of another skill, bagel toss! Nothing is in a large bag here, so we toss bags of bagels into the truck, maybe 200. We make mountains of muffins and coffee cakes, filling every nook we can find. Off to the food pantry or the church to take the food, depending on the day. We must go to Whole foods but must empty the truck first. Every day the food goes somewhere else, often each day is shared and so we try to sort though the bags as we drop off. In and out of the truck we haul. Now, over to Whole foods. They have some dairy. Sheep’s milk, coconut yogurt, tofu and some of those things you find only at Whole Foods. Oh, they also have 40 boxes of popcorn. 2 more trips today. We have to take it today, by 1pm or it may get tossed. The grocers need their space. We load the truck, deliver the food again. The food pantry has volunteers to help unload, the church did not, so we did all the carrying in there too. We go back, load again, deliver again. Costco called. They have a ping-pong table for a youth group it we can get that too! Of course we do. We delivered that to her husbands garage, unloaded it, he fixed it, we loaded it again and delivered it. We put gas in the truck, 100.00. I am sure she never asked for gas money. It is noon and we must get back to our jobs and families. I loved time working with this “secret angel” and social innovator. In every section of society there are the most needy, the seniors in homes, the struggling single moms and their kids, those out of work or unable, most of them in need of a little help and a little hope. Liz makes sure that they all get a bit of both. Liz is wearing a brace on her wrist, and I am helping her because her back has started to hurt, Liz has done this lifting alone for 20 years. I am sure her injuries are from her heavy lifting habits. She has no regrets, or plans to stop. People have come to trust her and depend on her, who will care for them? You know, without an agenda.

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  • Anonymous

    this is a great picture of what we do…thanks for taking the time to share it. I think stroies like this help people to understand what type of work we are catalyzing across the country. I already knew about this and I’m still inspired as I read it :)nnThank you Lisau2014and Thank you Lis. You guys rock.

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  • Jen

    I’d love to ‘share’ this item in my FB, however, it would only do it if I shared my database. -As a rule I never share my database. Can this be changed?

  • Anonymous

    Jen, I’m confused about what exactly you’re asking. There is a small Facebook icon that if you click it will share the link to the blog post. Or you could copy and past the URL and paste that into Facebook to share the link. Either way worked great for me (I just tested them)

  • http://www.lovewithoutagenda.com Lisa O’Brien-Wentzel

    also jen, word press an other apps need that permission to interface, good apps wont spam or steal, so no worries if you say “ok” and grant permission.