Monday, November 21, 2011

Give a Little More Than Thanks

On Saturday, Dan and I had signed up to volunteer at a local food bank - but there was not enough food donated to even use the help of volunteers! Can you believe that?

The weekend before a big holiday, especially a food-centered one like Thanksgiving, is typically a busy time for charities that feed the hungry. We were ready to help unload boxes, separate the corn from the green beans. On Friday afternoon, however, the food bank called and said, Thanks, but...we don't need you. 

The Washington metro area is home to our  country's highest earners and even when the job market was at its worst, D.C. was still rated as one of the best places to look for work. That's why I was really shocked to learn a food bank in our area hadn't received enough food - on the week before Thanksgiving!!!- to even warrant volunteers.

On the weekends I always watch CBS Sunday Morning - it's my all-time favorite morning news magazine and the theme of this week's show, in advance of Turkey Day, was food.  There was a story on how hunger has come to Easy Street . Forsyth County in Georgia - the wealtiest county in its State, the thirtheenth wealthiest place in the U.S. - is also seeing an uptick in the patrons of its food bank.

If food banks in places where most people do earn decent livings are struggling, that means that food banks everywhere are likely hurting.  Keep that in mind as you're shopping this week and the rest of the holiday season. If your grocery store has promotions to buy a box of pre-bagged food to be donated, or even a cart where you can toss in a few can goods....if you can, do it. When you consider charities to support at Christmas time, think of your local food banks - I think every little bit really will matter right now!

Because we couldn't give our time this weekend, Dan and I have to decided to make a donation to a food bank in our area. I'll be inclucing  the sponsorship from last week's paid blog post with what we give, and for every comment left on this post, telling me about (or linking to!)  your favorite charity or what you're doing this holiday season to help your community, I'll add an extra can good to take to the food bank.  

I think it's always enough to just be grateful for what we have in life, but if you can give a little more than thanks this week, this holiday season...then find a way to do that, too!



Katie said...

That is very lovely of you. Some of my best Thanksgivings were spent handing out meals that our mens group at church cooked. We partnered with the local PD who would drive volunteers around and deliver meals on Thanksgiving Day.

On a basset note, do you bathe your hound yourself or send her to a groomer? I walked into our bedroom this morning and it smelled as if it had been doused in eau de basset. Bax needs a holiday bath but he despises water!

Happy Thanksgiving! :D

HoundDogMom said...

I live in Illinois and our local food bank has ran out of food this year as well. Our local radio station runs a fundraiser for them about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. Our goal is to fill 10 semi-trucks full of food for the food bank in our town. The first year they filled only 1 the second year 6 and this year their goal is 10 semis filled with food. We have donated our bag of goodies to them. Our local stories also fix bags up premade and all you have to do is purchase one for $5, $10, $15 etc. It is so sad to think that people may go without a meal on one of the most important days of the year. We also donate dog food, treats, blankets to our local animal shelters through the holiday season. We hope that your food bank is able to recover and get their shelves stocked back up. Maybe you can suggest to your local radio stations about doing a fill the Semi-Fundraiser for them. Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Sniffs, The HoundDogs and Sherri

Emily said...

That is so sad. But not surprising. It's the same thing in Omaha which is surprisingly wealthy. Sigh. Between the river flooding this summer and displacing so many, along with the fluctuating weather, etc. It's everywhere. I know from the local news that our food bank is low, which is especially troubling when it comes to the youth who rely on the backpack program (filled with healthy food for them to take home over the weekend or the holidays).

I think in everyone's defense this is the time of year where absolutely everyone is asking you to give between the Red Kettles, St. Judes, Food Bank, etc. Getting that year end drive in...and after awhile it just gets annoying. Wuff.

I love how you and Dan turned your situation around--and are donating to the food bank.

Happy Monday. oxo

I Do Declare said...

You're right, Emily - it is especially hard during the holidays when every group is asking for every thing! And I'm pretty guilty of only thinking of charities like food banks around the holidays, too. I think this will help me remember, in the middle of the year, that food banks still need local support.

Hines-Sight said...

This is a fantastic post. I can't believe they didn't need volunteers.
Such a good reminder.

My daughter's preschool just finished a food and coat drive for one of the Help Missions, and we helped with that.

In light of your post, I'll also be donating food for the Christmas holiday.

Kori Donahue said...

This is super nice. Thank you for reminding us of the true meaning of the season honey. Kori xoxo

Sarah Beth - Dixie Gator Gal said...

I tried to line up some foodbank related volunteering for my alum group for thanksgiving time back in August and every food relayed charity I contacted said they already had more than enough volunteers during this time. Let's hope it was the over abundance of early bird volunteers rather than lack of food! I am doing a lot for Community Family Life Services in DC this holiday. I chair my junior league committee that works with this organization, and am coordinating adopt a family/foster child/homeless adult with the leagues 2,000+ members-good thing I'm not working right now! We love to buy tons of toys on black Friday to give to charities, too! Thanks for giving!

Cassie said...

Every time I do a little grocery shopping I try and pick up a few canned items to throw in the bins on my way out. I wish they'd leave the bins out all year because I'd keep doing it! And clearly you know that the EQ is in FC!


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