Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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The Forgiveness Stamp

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My mother is retiring from her job, which has caused a minor confusion in her office. There have been so many little tasks that she takes care of, that now her co-workers are realizing that they will have to learn how to do for themselves. One basic chore was buying stamps. They do not need postage stamps often, but my mother told her colleagues that they should buy a “forever” stamp, so that when the price changes the stamps would still be good.

One young lady decided that she was up to the task, so she went to the post office. Instead of going to the vending machines in the lobby, she waited in line for her turn with the postmaster. She proudly walks up to him and asks for a “forgiveness” stamp. Without missing a beat, he says that is going to be the next stamp we are going to come out with; would you like a forever stamp for now?Now, I am a Lutheran, so forgiveness stamps do not sit well with me (alright, historical jokes do not always play well, but give me credit for trying). In the end, she has learned what to ask for.

After my mother related this story to me, we start talking about other events in our lives, and she asks if I am still volunteering at the Food Bank. Not as much as I would like is my reply. It is interesting to see those who come to volunteer in the warehouse with me. You have the staffs of large corporations coming on some days. There are a few individuals like me coming at times. People who are having a home built by Habitat for Humanity will do their volunteer work here too. I usually give them some information on taking care of their home, and other bits of advice during the break times. I am amused by those who have been mandated there for community service. Of course all of them are innocent. I usually try to help them out with tips about their homes too. The prisoners do worry me, but only when my son is volunteering with me.

Anyone can benefit from the Food Bank. It offers a helping hand to those in need without question. The problem that food banks across the nation are facing right now is the ability to obtain enough. Rising fuel costs have had their effect, but you may also be aware that bio-fuels are now to blame for increased food costs too. This situation has led to smaller purchases by the food banks, because their revenue (our donations) have not increased. Many charities have suffered over the past six months, but I think that food pantries may have been hit hardest.

Would you like your own forgiveness stamp? A small donation can go a long way. Your local food bank will operate much the same way as mine does. I estimate that around 75% of the labor is done by some type of volunteer labor, so payroll cost is not so much the issue. A good deal of the money donated is used for purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits at very good prices, and quickly getting them out the door to the pantries. Sometimes other deals are struck, so more than the typical can good will go to the end user. Basically, your money will be well spent. I have set up a recurring payment to go to my food bank through my electronic banking. Twenty dollars every so often is not much, but it can help.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and I hope that you will consider helping your local food bank.

Houston home inspector,


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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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