Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day when we hope to be with family, share fellowship, good food, and football. For many, though, it is just another day; a day to go to work, a day to be without family, and a day to do nothing special. For everyone I would hope it is a day to reflect and be thankful; for what we have been blessed with. But, also as the Christmas holidays draw nearer it is a time to consider how we can give.
At this time of year you will see bell ringers with the red Salvation Army buckets, boxes in banks and businesses set up for canned food drives and Toys For Tots, and many 'giving trees' in schools and churches. Take tomorrow to be thankful for what you have and think of how you can pay it forward, BUT give like you would hope to get.
Over the years my family and I have packaged food, filled gift bags for children, visited nursing homes, and sorted pallets of canned food items to check the expiration dates. I cannot begin to tell you how many giving and thoughtful people there are in my neighboring communities. Sadly I can also tell you that people will donate used winter coats that are stained and torn and drop off boxes of canned food with dates that are grossly expired. I kindly pointed out an expired date to a person once who dropped off a case of soup only to have them tell me, 'That's o.k. Whoever gets it is poor and they'll be grateful for whatever they get." OMG, really? How sad and selfish is that?
My point is that if you, yourself, would no longer wear a blouse or a coat or a pair of pants because they are stained or torn then WHY would you expect someone else to? Perhaps the recipient is in need and has had a run of bad luck, but that's no reason to strip them of their dignity as well. If YOU would not eat a can of beans or soup with a date that was 10+ months past its expiration date then WHY would you expect someone else to?
Yes, take tomorrow (and every other day) to be thankful for what you have and when you ponder the idea of giving during the holidays remember to give like you would hope to get.