Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks and Just Giving

I'll write in short sentences since you probably have a lot to do today and not a whole lot of time to do it all in.  It's a lot of First World Problems to solve for the most part.

For those of us not picking up or dropping someone at the airport who's flown in/flying out to be part of the Thanksgiving holiday, there's the annual trek to the grocer for the 'things we forgot to get for the feast' shopping expedition. Taking care of the little things counts in life and in holiday dinners.

I've been told it's how the Donner Party met their untimely end, near the sweet potatoes in the produce section. For me, the 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?' question always comes down to: cranberries, jellied or berries?
I never get it right.

Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. While I'm standing struggling with what is truly a trivial concern, I'm somehow not seeing those around me who would trade my troubles for theirs in less time than it takes to read this sentence.

This is the time of year we celebrate our good fortune, in a vaguely historical homage to the Pilgrim's Progress that we can't quite explain. That's probably because we get it wrong. The First Thanksgiving was really an act of generosity by those who had with those who did not.

We think of The Pilgrims when we think about Thanksgiving but it's the Native Americans who sustained them and helped those ill-equipped settlers adapt and overcome whom we should be honoring and emulating.

I pass by at least a half-dozen collection points every day where donations for those whom we call 'the less fortunate' are being assembled. People who need our help are not less fortunate-they are our neighbors and in some instances family and friends.

These are hard times in the land of plenty and if you thought the last half a decade was rough as America struggled with recession/depression, try being a family that didn't have very much to start with when the fecal material hit the ventilator.

This time of year, and more so now than last year and way more than the year before that, agencies and organizations that work with the invisible poor we chose not to see are nearly overwhelmed by the requests for help.

Ask the St. Vincent de Paul Place about how many (more) hot meals they're preparing for the holidays and how many new food pantry customers they have. We can all name a church or a school organizing a winter coat drive and this is the time of the year I suspect the Connecticut Food Bank receives the largest number of donations, which is all well and good assuming hunger is a holiday thing, except it's not.

Tomorrow when you're with friends and family enjoying the food and festivities at home, after the feasting please go on line and find an agency someplace doing good and donate so they can do better.

How much should you give? Until it helps.
-bill kenny

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