It has been an exciting couple of days at CHO h/q this week. We have been in the middle of an impromptu fundraiser, organised by Richard, which has come out of a generous and uplifting gesture of a family of mango growers (the Marks clan) from Katherine in the Northern Territory. Richard’s father Alwin is a Lutheran pastor, and the Mango Mob is linked with the church too in some way. They are in the middle of mango season, and obviously the fruit is coming thick and fast. Like everything else in the fresh food area, there are ‘standards’ that have to be met, and the MM rather than ditch their seconds fruit (fruit that is perfectly delicious, just a bit blemished or too big or too small), have a scheme whereby they sell the fruit at $30 a box to folk who want to use it for a fundraiser. Half of the money raised from sales goes to the distributing organisation, and the other half goes back to the MM. Richard tells me that they in turn distribute the money that comes back to them to causes that they themselves support. Altogether this year 3300 boxes have been sent around the country, raising almost a million dollars for people and organisations who need it. How amazing is that?? Alwin thought to ask if we would like to be the beneficiaries of this generosity. He paid the up front money to the grower, and eventually, when we sell the boxes, we will pay him and still have money left for programs and activities ourselves.
So, how has it all unfolded? We put the word out a week or so ago that the mangoes were coming. Richard had responses to this initial email within minutes of it being sent. People everywhere were putting their hands up for a box or two. Some people shared a box, others asked their friends and neighbours if they wanted some as well. We had the 50 boxes arrive today, and by this afternoon, 30-odd had gone, with more being picked up tomorrow. They are beautiful fruit (as you can see by the pictures), and at all different degrees of ripeness, so they don’t all have to be eaten at once. It has been a fun, easy and rewarding way to make a little money for a CHO activity or two.
Isn’t generosity a fine thing? In this case it has allowed us to pass on the gift of this delicious fruit to people who often have mangoes only as a special treat. It has also given us a link to the growers in Katherine (the Marks family and their staff) – who have also had the work of organising the logistics of all this; and to Richard’s dad Alwin. These ripples of chance, connection, generosity and goodwill help to thread community together in ways we can’t imagine in advance. So, special thanks to Alwin, Richard, Mango Mob and all the team in Katherine and beyond, and to everyone who has supported mango mayhem at CHO this week.