I wanted to relate a nice story about my dad here on Community Outreach day, which is going on at SV, DC, NY and Chicago Moms Blogs on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
My dad is living his dreams, retired from the "evil corporate world" and self-appointed computer repairman of East Palo Alto. His real passion is saving small businesses and revitalizing the spunky little town, and in the meantime he's been a crazy-busy volunteer, joined several boards, recently appointed to the City Planning commission and teacher at OICW (recently renamed JobTrain). I have to admit my family has made fun of my dad's idiosyncrasy's, much as we admire him, and one of those is his really trusting and giving nature. As bad a rep the residents of EPA might have (although the ones I've met are a truly great bunch), when my dad accidentally left his laptop at Starbucks, he really did think he could just waltz right back in there and get it back. Alas it was gone, and he was understandably bothered, but nothing too critical was on there.
A few days later he gets a call. It seems someone had brought the computer back. The story was an older women had accidentally walked off with it and brought it back in when she realized her mistake. And if you believe that care to invest in a fancy four star hotel in a really lovely town? It turns out a young man had seized the opportunity to take the laptop. As he was fiddling with it his roommate noticed the name on the computer bag. "Hey, you can't keep that, that belongs to my teacher." See what a little Community Outreach can do? My dad has really touched a lot of lives over there, and this was clearly one of them. They took the computer back and when my dad found out the real story, he gave them both a reward. Why both, I asked. These guys have literally nothing, and he doesn't blame the guy for what he did, he just wants to reward them for their honesty.
Cross-posted at Silicon Valley Moms, where you can find other Community Outreach posts.