Positive Stories Abound!

Arthur put a call out for positive story submissions for our positivity-themed issue. Here’s what you had to share!

The Food and the Friends

Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon, Sadleir House is full of people from the Peterborough community, patiently waiting in line for the OPIRG Food Cupboard.

In a world where much food is wasted, the Food Cupboard serves the purpose of preventing food waste, as well as providing for people in need. Everyone is welcome at the Food Cupboard, and unlike the Foodbank, participants do not need to prove that they qualify for assistance.

While the many donations of food from various businesses, individuals, and organizations provide the substance for the Food Cupboard, it is the people that are the backbone of the project.
Every week without fail, the Food Cupboard co-ordinators come early to

Sadleir House to transport heavy boexes of food, to organize the space, and to act as facilitators.They are not only dedicated workers, but cheerful greeters, as well. Despite the long day, and dealing with a long line of people, these volunteers never break their friendly demeanors.In addition to The Food Cupboard, OPIRG runs The Free Market, which provides many essentials, inlcuding clothing and books.

For more information, or to get involved as a volunteer, call 741-1208. Donations directly to the OPIRG Food Cupboard and Free Market are also accepted.
The Food Cupboard is located right next to the Free Market in the Basement of Sadleir House, 751 George St N.

-Jasmine Cabanaw

Blessed with Nine Lives

It is my fifth year at Trent University and each year I struggle to make ends meet financially. Each year I am forced to pay thousands of dollars for my tuition, hundreds of dollars for books, hundreds for parking, not to mention living expenses; rent, car insurance, groceries, internet, cell phone, etc. To say the least, it is a hassle to financially survive and to be honest, without the help of my parents, there is no way I could be in university right now.

My cat recently needed surgery that could no longer be delayed. I knew I had just enough money for this process ($220) but after I finished school for the day and went to pick him up, my debit card was gone. My bank is only in Frankford, Belleville, and Trenton, each of which are over an hour from Peterborough. The veterinarian’s office would not give me a day to retrieve my debit card, they demanded it immediately, and when I asked if they would accept a check, the last one I had, they cold-heartedly refused.

I went to my other bank, that I never use and have no money in, to see if they could help me transfer money from my other account, but they bluntly told me it was not their problem and I needed to go to my home bank, even though I would not be able to make it on time.

My home bank has a sister bank in Peterborough, the Kawartha Credit Union. Already in tears, I asked if they could help me. A woman named Mary Graham was determined to help me—she fought for me to somehow get a money transfer, a counter-check, anything. And although she came close, the bank could not allow it for legal reasons. Mary proceeded to grab me by the arm, take me to the teller, take $250.00 out of her own bank account, hand me the money, and ask me to bring her the money when I got the chance.

For all of the people in my day who demanded money from me when I hardly had it, who were reluctant to help someone who struggles everyday to make ends meet, and who had absolutely no room in their hearts to feel for me, this woman, out of the kindness of her own heart, reached into her account and helped a complete stranger. The world should be thankful for people like Mary Graham.

-Cassaundra Vajda

Finding the Positive in Frankenfish

Back in February, Arthur covered a story about the Food and Drug Administration’s controversial move towards accepting the sale and consumption of a new genetically modified salmon, which critics at the time were apprehensively calling “Frankenfish.” In the article, Arthur discussed the many concerns that were held among the public regarding the approval, production, and marketing of AquaBounty salmon, which reach adulthood twice as fast as their normal Atlantic counterparts and would be the first genetically modified organism intended solely for human consumption. Many worries held among the public included the blurring of ethical standards into vague grey areas, possible environmental aftereffects associated with mass farming GMOs, and the unknown long-term human health risks.

While news such as this can be gloomy to read (and sometimes downright scary), there is a positive side to this story. The more we pay attention to the lack of transparency and infiltration of our food supply system, the more aware we become, and the more powerful we are to demand that positive changes occur. Since the publication of Arthur’s article on “Frankenfish,” passionate protesters (including but not limited to: Food and Water Watch, The Organic Consumers Association, and hundreds of locally-based food sovereignty groups) have voiced their concerns over the freedom the FDA has given to the biotechnology industry in determining the outcome of our food supply.

-Jen Boon

Positivity in the Tim Horton’s Line-up

A few weeks back I was in line at Tim Hortons in Bata to fuel my caffeine fix and participate in the annual Roll Up the Rim. In front of me were two people, the first one (at the very front of the line) sounded as though his english was rather spotty, but he got his order in. When he learned that Tim’s Cards were not accepted he was devastated. He didn’t have any cash on him, so just as he was about to leave the woman behind him offered to pay for his coffee. After a little bit of bickering, he finally agreed to letting her. By the look on his face, she had made his day. It’s little things like that which restore my faith in humanity. Keep it up, Trent!

-Ben Perry

The Nicest Bus Driver in Peterborough

Do you know the West Bank bus driver who is male, balding, and has an awesome mustache? He’s taller and always wears sunglasses. (I’m sad I haven’t learned his name yet!) He’s probably the nicest person in Peterborough. He says hello, how are you every single time I get on the bus, and wishes me a good day when I get off. He’s kind, he’s waited for me a few times when I’ve come running down the street (only one other driver has ever done that for me, two years ago!) and always has a smile for you when you get off and on. He even had candy hearts on Valentines!! He’s the nicest guy and he needs to be recognized for the brightness he brings to my day, and to everyone else who gets on his bus. A great guy who makes an effort to say hello, which is a far cry from many other bus drivers out there. It’s the little things that make my day better overall, and ‘hello!’ definitely helps!

-Lisa Raby

Gone, but not Going Far

I am sure you have realised by now that this edition of Arthur is all about positive news. I am also sure that this is surprisingly refreshing, considering that so much of the campus, local, national, and international news is all doom and gloom. I would like to take a story from April 4 2012, “Buh-bye! I am gone, but I am not going far” written by Arthur’s Miranda Rigby. Although each week Arthur informs you of a many number of sad, sad stories, we are all a very happy team. In her final editorial Miranda declared that she was “gone, but not going far”. And, ladies and gentlemen, she is still here and lovely as ever. Arthur’s former editor is in teacher’s college, but still plays an important role in the creation and production of the paper, as well as keeping a watchful eye over all of us. So, I am taking this opportunity to do a bit of guilt-free Arthur promotion. Working with such amazing editors, the wonderful Miranda, the writers, the reviewers, and the volunteers is always a pleasure. So, despite the negative news we so often hear (and report on), there’s always light at the end of the journalism tunnel in the form of great colleagues and great friends.

-Alice Froude

About Jasmine Cabanaw 32 Articles
When Jasmine was a child, she could almost always been found with a notebook and pen in hand, writing away. As an adult, she has written for a variety of magazines and websites, including the art magazine Juxtapoz. She was the 2010 winner of a blogging contest put on by the publishing house JournalStone. JournalStone also published two of her short fiction stories in their horror anthologies in 2010 and 2011. When she's not writing, Jasmine spends a good chunk of her time completing her history degree and working as a professional dance performer and instructor.