Today’s gift is a roundabout way to donate to our local York Food Pantry. At church, Carol is looking for volunteers to help the York town clerk open and organize absentee ballots for the coming Election Day. My Tuesday morning is free so this seems like a win/win. (Truth be told, in retirement my day’s are often wide open; today I’ve just a workout session at the gym on the docket.)
At 830A we meet around two large rectangular tables set in the center of the York High School gym on a Norman Rockwell morning in Maine. If you haven’t been to our gym, it is small town Maine to the max. Bleachers are eight rows high in a gym that might hold 200 people when it is rocking. Banners with state champions and 1000 point scorers hang from the rafters. Four large cardboard boxes hold the nearly 3000 absentee ballots.
The Town Clerk administers the oath to us and we raise our hands and promise to defend the Constitution (I’m serious) and the laws of the state of Maine. As volunteers who are all on Social Security and much appreciate our Medicare, we slit the envelope and stack the two folded pages of the ballot so town employees can later feed them into the voting machines. Not 90 minutes later, we eight blue, white, and red-blooded American seniors have done our civic duty and stand just a little taller. And the gift? The town gives money to the York Food Pantry for each one of us who has come to support this American birthright on this first Tuesday in November.