I’ll never forget. Last year heading out for my holiday food shopping, there was a man on the corner holding a cardboard sign, it read, “hungry, I would love leftovers.”
It broke my heart. I was heading off to Whole Foods for some fancy vegan somethingorother and probably some organic wine and a freaking pear tart and this man is hoping for a plate of leftovers.
I ate my dinner that Thanksgiving thinking of him and if I could just bring him a plate. But I didn’t.
It was logistically impossible that day anyway.
But I always felt like I didn’t do enough. Like I chickened out.
I do a lot mind you. Well, I’m charitable anyway. I sponsor a woman in a developing country to give her work skills and job support for her family. I give to my church, I give to my PTSA, I give to my food banks and clothing banks. I write checks all the time.
But I always feel like it’s never enough. Because I know there’s still people out there that are hungry. That are cold.
I was reading magazines at the dentist’s and doctor’s offices this week while waiting for the kids at their appointments. All the issues have Thanksgiving recipes, table settings, center piece displays, pictures of pie. It’s so enticing.
I couldn’t help but think we are such a funny country to make such a huge deal over one meal. Sure other countries have celebrations and the food is paramount to the gathering, but Thanksgiving is all ABOUT THE MEAL! It really is truly. I mean right? The pilgrims are celebrating their harvest. And no, I’m not going into the typhus blankets they gave the Native Americans. Or how about the fact that most Native Americans now living on reservations couldn’t even afford a Thanksgiving dinner? Okay…. another day we’ll talk about that.
Reading Facebook statuses talk about the days ahead of preparations. The thawing the turkey, the making stock from the turkey parts. It takes DAYS. Pinterest is loaded with stuffing recipes. Stuffed.
I love food. I love eating. I love good food. The kind Martha or Julia would cook. My mom kicks ass at these holiday meals. She browns the stock, she makes the dressing, she brines the bird, she makes the richest darkest gravy you can get from a fowl. It’s amazing. Even the freaking green bean casserole out of a can is delicious. She is magic. Well, she’ll tell you it’s not magic. It’s hours of laborous (sp?) prep.
I tell her if we ate toast with popcorn on it like Charlie Brown, I’d be happy. And it’s true. Because we have an embarrassment of riches.
What is my point? Well, my point is- if you think you’ve not done enough, then go out there and do more.
There is always someone hungry, someone lonely, or someone cold. I won’t ever be content until I’ve reached out to as many as I can.
My friend Sam is matching those who need something with those that can give something. If you can reach out to a family with a grocery card or some gas money, please let Sam know by going to her page, here.
This year I haven’t seen that man again with the sign. But if I do, I’m bringing him something.
And I pray you always have enough. Spread the love my friends.