I donâ€™t know when the word â€œlug,â€ first became associated with the selling of produce such as peaches. Itâ€™s been a while, though, because when I was young (a long time ago) my mother referred to the big boxes of peaches she brought home at canning time asÂ â€œlugs.â€ I thought it was a funny word for peaches.
A website tells me that a lug is not quite a bushel, but it is the size by which most produce is delivered to markets. A lug weighs about 31 to 33 pounds. A bushel weights 33 to 38 pounds.
I have forever loved peaches, but I donâ€™t remember the ones Mom brought home being as deliciously delectable as the Colorado ones the Youth for Christ organization sells as a fundraiser.
In recent years, weâ€™ve had to lug (cart, carry, haul, pull) our own boxes of peaches to our cars when we picked them up at the Youth for Christ distribution point. Not so this year. It was a smooth drive-through the former Leevers Supermarket parking lot.
There a Youth for Christ volunteer opened up your back door, placed your lugs in the back seat, then crossed your name off their list. I made two trips to that parking lot — the first time for two lugs and the second time for one lug.
Cody Weckerly, executive director of Grand Forks Youth For Christ, tells me that this year 2,700 lugs of peaches were sold. â€œThat is a thousand more than weâ€™ve ever sold,â€ Cody said. â€œI wish we would have ordered a couple hundred more because we could have sold them.â€
As it turned out, there were 40 boxes left over on the last delivery day. Cody got the word out by e-mail with the intention of having the site open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. But guess what? They were all gone in 30 minutes. Cody says YFC already is looking forward to next year. They arenâ€™t the only ones. The last of my fresh peaches went into a pie last week.
Youth for Christ began in 1944 and a chapter was started in Grand Forks in 1992. Supported by donations from individuals, churches and the selling of peaches, YFC offers mentoring, small group meetings and larger events to help teen-agers build healthy, meaningful relationships. It acknowledges the fact that every student has unique gifts, needs, hurts and hopes.
YFC serves the public schools by going in and helping with such things as tutoring and hallway monitoring. Last January, YFC started building relationships with Valley Middle School students.
â€œThey are excited to have us back to help out this year,â€ Cody said. â€œWeâ€™ll be using an area of the school once a week to have our Campus Life meetings. Weâ€™ve had a lot of positive feedback from faculty. The administration is very open. When we come in itâ€™s a trust relationship. We donâ€™t go outside any boundaries they set for us. Weâ€™re just there to serve them and anything that is related to spiritual conversations â€“ that all happens within that one hour a week theyâ€™ve set aside for us. We do fun activities just to build relationships with the students. Itâ€™s a good time and good fellowship.â€
Those YFC peaches are very accomplished. They help to send students to camps and retreats, they bring in Christian bands for concerts, they purchase Bibles and other study materials and they pay Codyâ€™s salary.
Theyâ€™re so resourceful. Itâ€™s not easy calling them â€œlugs.â€