Millions of Peaches

I live in Wisconsin, but I grew up in South Carolina. It’s also where my parents and sisters and their families all live. South Carolina is the 2nd largest producer of peaches in the country (Georgia is 3rd…California stole 1st from South Carolina a while back). Wisconsin is somewhere around the 50th.

A few years back, my wife realized there was a great opportunity available for people who would be willing to load up a car with all the peaches and drive it to Wisconsin for profit.

Last year, during the pandemic, me and my kids decided to do exactly that. Only, we decided that the profits would all go to charity. Last year, the money went to help the people in Minneapolis who had been displaced due to the riots following the murder of George Floyd.

This year, partially due to the overwhelming numbers of people in Wisconsin asking if we were doing it again, I made the trip by myself, coming back to Wisconsin with over 40 cases of peaches a mere three days after I left the state to pick them up.

And this year we raised $1,400 for a group that provides blankets, food, and whatever they can to the homeless people here in Eau Claire. And, my favorite part of their program, is that they actually go out to the places where the homeless folks are, under bridges, in the local caves, and wherever else, and bring the supplies to them, making sure on the freezing Wisconsin winter nights that these people aren’t dying.

They’re awesome. And we used a carload of peaches to help them do even more awesome.

Learning about people doing awesome stuff like this just makes me want to find even more ways to do awesome things. Right now we spend so much time focused on how terrible we perceive everyone else to be. I’ve found myself in that position countless times, even though I like to think of myself as an empathetic person.

And trying to do awesome things doesn’t make me suddenly able to ignore the injustices in the world. But I do like knowing that I’m in some way a cog in the machine which might somehow makes things better.

And I wish I had more of a point to this post than what appears to be simply bragging about how I gave myself a little road trip and found a way to use it for some good, but I don’t, because I’ve said all the other stuff before. I guess I’m just hoping that maybe I can inspire more of you to find little ways to improve the world around you. Because it’s a whole lot easier to see how terrible our world is if you know you’ve done something to try to make it better, no matter how small.

Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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