I believe that Thanksgiving 2010 could be used as a demonstration model of how a community working together can meet the needs of their neighbors.
Seriously, it was successful, inspiring, and uplifting.
Each year we provide Thanksgiving baskets to our neighbors in need. I was very aware that this year we would have greater needs than in the past. That made it especially difficult when I got then news that we were not getting anywhere near the Thanksgiving supplies that we normally get from our Food Bank.
So…I asked for help. I told the story to friends and colleagues and they did the same. Soon people started contacting me and offering their assistance. We had individuals, schools, businesses and churches all step up to help. It was an incredible effort.
Sometimes we received the turkeys one at a time and sometimes we got them by the dozens! We received potatoes and pies and vegetables. Certain groups decided that they would have a food drive and focus on one or two specific items to go into the basket. One school had a food drive that concentrated on stuffing and gravy and one business collected green beans, corn and sweet potatoes.
I am pretty sure that the West Fayette Presbyterian church brought in a turkey for each parishioner. They also came in and helped on the day we gave them out. It was tremendous help.
Then there was the young man (5th grade) who bought an entire Thanksgiving dinner with his own money…complete with pumpkin pie and cool whip!
There was a lovely woman who brought us a turkey she won and then decided to supply the rest of the dinner and made cookies for the staff to eat…and they were very yummy!
The stories could go on and on but really it is the same story that the House of Concern was founded on 42 years ago… the story of a community that saw a need and came together to meet that need.
All and all we were able to serve 90 families a complete Thanksgiving Dinner this year. That is what I consider a success.