‘Tis the season to think of the less fortunate

By Joanne Peterson | Nov 20, 2013

Thanksgiving fast approaches. Many people will be with friends or relatives for the holiday, in someone’s cozy home, sitting around the dining table laughing and talking, enjoying coffee and a second piece of pie. They will have eaten too much of everything but already will be happily anticipating that the next day’s menu will include turkey dinner leftovers.

Grownups will move to the living room, sit by the fire, continue their visiting, maybe watch some football. Children will play happily in the family room, cousins who don’t see each other every day sharing Legos and dollhouses. The day will pass in a warm blur of companionship.

While many of us gather in comfortable homes for a sumptuous dinner, hundreds of people in our county, in our own town, will be hungry and cold during the holidays. If they are well-fed on Thanksgiving Day, it will be because a local church invites them for dinner or because the local food bank helps them. Compassionate individuals—and local churches and businesses—support our food bank generously, but food bank stocks deplete quickly.

I write often about privilege and about my painful awareness that there are women in my community who have none of my advantages. They love their children as deeply as I love mine and want to provide for their children as well as mine have been provided for.

Life’s uncertain for all of us, of course, but I know none of my children or grandchildren will go to sleep hungry or homeless on Thanksgiving night. Many families do not have that certainty.

You pretty much know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? If you have plenty of what you need to feed and clothe your family, if you are in a position to fulfill your children’s Christmas wishes, I hope you will help someone who doesn’t have as sweet a life as you and your children do.

Please donate to the food bank. Drop off some new toys for the Dec. 7 Edmonds Food Bank Christmas Toy Shop at the Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers Street—or donate an outgrown bike (or one from a thrift shop) to be refurbished for a delighted child who’s never had a bike.  Of course, if you involve your kids or grandkids in acts of generosity, that’s even better.

Does your family have a dog or a cat?  Families who have very few resources—often because of an abrupt change in lifestyle due to financial crisis—have pets, too, and struggle to feed those beloved animals.  If you’re an animal lover, you can imagine how they feel -- pets are family members, too. Please consider purchasing an extra bag of cat or dog food next time you shop and donating it to the Edmonds Food Bank.

Beginning the holiday season, I recognize anew the great disparity between people with adequate resources and those who need a boost. Let’s help the ones who need a boost.

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