Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Act of Thanksgiving

On Sunday Jeff and Amelia helped accept Thanksgiving donations at our church's food pantry. The need is greater this year than in years past. We have 400 families who have requested assistance. Heaven only knows how many are in some kind of need, but didn't ask. Thanks to the generosity of many, all 400 will get a Thanksgiving basket full of the makings of a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, right down to the pumpkin pie and whipped topping.

Amelia had a great time helping unload food from people's cars and stack things in the right piles. It was a good lesson for her in helping others and recognizing the many blessings we have.

I am grateful that Amelia really can't understand that some children don't have enough to eat, because she has never had to go hungry.

But I am also aware that is not the case for many, many kids.

I think about this when my kids ask for a certain cereal and I go to the cupboard to discover we're out. Already at age 2, the boys will say "Mommy will get some more at the store," when I tell them that their item of choice is all gone. Then we move on to the other hundreds of available selections.

But what if "we're all out" meant just that. ALL out. As in no more food?

I can't even imagine what it must feel like to tell your child that there's no food, and no money to just run to the store and get whatever they want. How painful it must be to hear your child cry because he or she is hungry.

I hate the idea of anyone being hungry.

I come from German/Irish heritage where food is love, and food is plentiful. My mom fed 10 people on a small budget, so we ate lots of inexpensive meals when I was growing up: spaghetti, casseroles, meatloaf with plenty of cracker crumbs in it. In the early days of my marriage, I scrimped and scraped to put meals on the table, and we ate on the cheap plenty. But I have never truly been hungry.

Jeff and I have always given to our church food pantry, but often we were motivated by special requests like the Thanksgiving food drive. Perhaps it's more obvious during the holidays when we celebrate with huge feasts, but hunger is a year round problem. So lately we've been trying to pick up a few things for the food pantry every time we shop. We drop them off after church so Amelia, Sam, Isaac and Alex can be part of the effort.

Are we saving the world? No. But we are making a difference for someone. We're teaching our kids to take care of other people. And we're reminding ourselves over and over just how fortunate we are.

How about you?

Thanksgiving is just over a week away. There's no better way to celebrate the many blessings you've been given than to share your good fortune with others. Find a local food bank, a church food pantry, a community Thanksgiving dinner, someone who is feeding the hungry, and make a donation.

Someone, somewhere will be very grateful.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

1 comment:

abby said...

I had the oppurtunity to volunteer for the food kitchen at St. Vincent De Paul. I had lunch with Maya (2), Mason (4) and there dad. I was shocked to see a 2 year-old not throw her food and even eat all her brocoli. Then I got to thinking.... for this 2 year old, there is not a fridge full of food at home and she eats everything when she gets the chance. So sad. As I watch my triplets throw 80 % of there food off the high chair, I wish they could understand how fortunate they are.