What is the Sequoia project?

My photo
Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
The Sequoia tree is one of the largest in the world. The seed is the size of a grain of wheat. One kind act will often seem unimportant but has ripple effects across humanity.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Once every two years a small group of people held what they called an “AppleFest”. We received an email asking if we were interested in helping with the event. At first I wasn’t to sure about it. Their event fell on a Saturday which we had already made plans for. I called Tim up and asked more about the event and learned that they were planning on making gallons upon gallons of apple cider.

Tim explained to me that his father, who had passed away, started the event many years ago. Tim told me that his father use to make cider with friends but the tradition kind of fell to the side when he died. Since that time he and his friends started it back up. This year they had over 4000 pounds of apples that were donated by local farmers.

After learning about this I became more interested as we talked. We could change our plans and drive down to help. The small town (of about 1500 people) was about 25 miles a way. No big deal. They planned on starting bright and early. I explained to Tim that because of a bad back I was limited in the things I could help with. I was a fairly good photographer and could possibly help them out with that. He thought that would be great. They had a website highlighting their event and would be too busy to stop and get some nice shots for it.

I was amazed when I pulled up next to Tim’s house. Huge burlap bags held thousands of apples! The process was fairly simple though not easy work. They had learned a good system of doing things and about 10 people were involved. One group would clean the apples, another would cart them in buckets to the press, and then the last group would process them. It was interesting. I helped set a huge stainless steel tank onto concrete blocks and grabbed my camera.

After a couple hours it was time for me to go. I had taken maybe 500 different photos. When I was driving away I questioned whether I had wasted my time. My back was aching and I knew that I had overdone it. Just as I was wondering this the road I was driving on lined itself up perfectly with the sun. It was like a sign of some sort. When I got home I downloaded the photo’s and video taken and put together a nice 60 second clip.

Little did I know that this short clip would later be seen by over 6000 people within 24 hours. I submitted the photos to a media outlet and wrote a nice story about the event. The whole process took about 6 hours. I had no idea when I went down to help that the event would make national news. It put their group and their little city on the map. I was glad to see something that had been started by Tim’s dad get the attention that it did. They worked hard and deserved the recognition.

When we can use our talents to help others, without getting paid, it does help. Today’s work made a lot of people happy. Complete strangers were thrilled to learn that someone had went out of their way to help with their event. A person can help another in very simple ways. No money was made and our own plans for that day had been put on hold. I was sore and questioned all of it on the way home. That sun had lined up with the road perfectly for a reason. We don’t always know if another can be helped when we try. I do believe that every positive action has a reaction. This was one that made a whole town proud!