RootDown's success lies greatly in the efforts and dedication of its staff, board, Youth Leaders, supporters, and the communities who invite us to work with them. There have been moments however, when we are teetering on the brink of even greater success (or lack thereof), and the outcome depends entirely on those who work completely behind the scenes.
Such was the case this winter, when I was rushing to complete a MAJOR proposal for $250,000 in federal funds, and left the printing, photocopying and collating of what was about a ten section, nearly 40 page document to complete on the afternoon before the proposal was due in Sacramento. I'd allotted three hours to this task, arriving at Copy Cat, just before 2pm. Fedex was due at 5.
Carlos and Tino always provide prompt and friendly service at CopyCat and I do the best I can to make my requests easy to fulfill. I'd emailed some of the proposal in ahead of time so the printing could have commenced without me. Unfortunately some miscommunication in-house led to nothing being prepped in advance. The shop was packed. The color copier was down and one of the black and white copiers was having issues. I told Tino and Carlos what was at stake, a quarter of a million dollars to help build healthier food systems in South LA.
Somehow, despite the broken copiers, the demands of other customers, and a flurry of other FedEx orders coming in, Tino and Carlos managed to move small mountains to complete RootDown's proposal. They sent me down the road to get the color copies completed. They started running the print orders on the one working printer, while still juggling others' printing requests. They printed out my FedEx slip in advance so that at 5pm as I was madly collating the various sections, and the FedEx guy was reminding us he couldn't stick around, I was able to stuff the final four copies of this monster document into the overnight FedEx box and hand it to the FedEx guy (who actually did give us an extra 30 seconds).
After three hours in this shipping race, we were all wiped, coming down from adrenaline highs. High fiving and wishing for the best, I told them truthfully, I had seen some errors in the proposal, even as I was collating. I wished I'd had 5 more hours to revisit and revise again. I had to be happy at least, to have completed the proposal, and it would be good practice for the next major federal grant.
Fast forward six weeks. I received an email welcoming RootDown LA to the Network for a Healthy California who would grant us $85,000 for three consecutive years. WHAT?!!! I emailed the board, called our Youth Leaders to spread the word, then ran promptly up to CopyCat to shout out - WE DID IT!
Thank you Tino, Carlos and whomever employs you guys. You deserve a raise.