Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I can’t believe it’s basically been a year since I had the idea for this blog. Thanksgiving gives us all the excuse to really think about what we’re thankful for in our lives. On the last Thursday of November we seem to love our family a little more, appreciate our friends, and really be grateful for the huge meal that piles up on our plates. Here’s my question. Why can’t we keep that feeling around all year-long? What is so special about that one day in November? This year I’m thankful for more blessings that I can count. You out there reading this are on the top of my list.
Even though Turkey Day is about being thankful, it’s even more so about the food. Hey, the truth hurts. That doesn’t mean we can’t be thankful for all that glorious food we shove down our gullets. This time last year I was thankful for food for an entire week! So it only seems right that tonight I am thankful for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Since they opened their doors in 1982 Second Harvest has distributed more than 100 million pounds to 18 different counties in the western end of NC. The simple mission of sharing the abundance so no one goes hungry is as powerful as it is short. Something else that I feel like I’ve said a billion times over the past year is that an idea doesn’t have to be complicated in order to change lives. There is so much food that goes to waste on a daily basis that could be given to those who truly need it. That’s the whole idea that food banks were founded on. The other great thing about Second Harvest? A little bit of money goes a long way. A single dollar donated by you or me will buy $12 worth of food that will make 7 meals! That’s way better than the dollar menu at McDonalds. Golden Harvest Food Bank shares both the mission and the year they were established with Second Harvest. The work they do is a little further South than Second Harvest, but it’s needed because hunger knows no boundaries. GHFB has a Back Pack program similar to other charities, where they work to bridge the weekend meal gap that many students experience. It only costs $14 a month to sponsor a child for the 32 week school year. I bet all of us have spent $14 on ourselves for a single meal out. I can spare a meal out a month. It boggles my mind how simple it is to fix some of the world’s biggest problems if we were all just a little more giving.
So here’s to you Thanksgiving! You provided the inspiration I needed to start Thanks-4-Giving. You’re also the reason that countless people return home every year. You are the glue that keeps us together when all else fails. You can’t say no to someone you love on Thanksgiving. You’re also the start to the holiday season, no matter how badly the department stores try to brainwash us. Thank you for making me thankful. Year after year, and day after day.
Well I realize that being thankful for turkey seems a bit obvious and cliché on my first blog about thankfulness, but it’s the truth. Thanksgiving is called Turkey Day for a reason. Even if you don’t like turkey you can still be thankful for it and all it represents to our nation. Every year we buy these huge birds and roast ’em, fry ’em, bake ’em, and eat ’em for days. According to the National Turkey Federation nearly 88 percent of Americans surveyed eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 16 pounds, meaning that approximately 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States during Thanksgiving in 2009. 16 pounds?!?! Really? No wonder the obesity rate in our country is ~35%. But that’s another blog…
So obviously the vast majority of us here in the good ‘ole US of A have our bellies full on the fourth Thursday in November, but what about those who do not? Luckily there are some great organization out there who have made it incredibly simple to help those in need. You can donate a turkey from the comfort of your computer chair! The Greater Boston Food Bank will donate a 12-14 lb. turkey to a family in need for every $13 that is donated. Foodshare in Connecticut has a “Turkey and a Twenty” program where you can donate $32 to help purchase a turkey ($12) and help support the year-long effort to end hunger ($20) in CT. Both links are below where you can donate to these great causes.
So here’s to the first day of being thankful. Let’s all raise our basters to Mr. Turkey as the memory of being surrounded by our friends and family is so fresh. Here’s to 364 more things to be thankful for.
I love how thankful and pleasant everyone is around this time of year. The world seems like a happier place. But what about the other 364 days? Well the point of this blog is to try and change that in my own small way. Over the next year I am going to blog about 365 different things I am thankful for and donate $10 every week to an organization that reflects my thankfulness. There is this misconception that you have to start your own non-profit or organization to change the world, but in reality there are so many great causes that already exist. Hopefully this blog will get them the exposure they deserve. Oh you want to know how you can donate too? Every blog will link you to the website where you can “thank” the organization yourself. Thanks for stopping by and come back to see how much I have to be thankful for!