Thankfulness becoming generosity

First off, I want to say that writing about an issue in the U.S. feels somehow tunnel-visioned without mentioning that there are a lot of terrible things filling the news around the world. It brings to the forefront of our minds that there is very tangible suffering being felt. If I knew a way to help, I would be writing about that. Please join me in praying for the people of West Africa, Eastern Ukraine, and the Middle East. Also, please do not let fear inhibit compassion. That to me is the most troubling thing about responses I have been noticing to the first case of ebola diagnosed on U.S. soil. Yes, it is serious. No, it is not a reason to close our borders.

Now, to the post:

2011-Turkey1I am literally giddy with excitement for Fall and the Holiday season. Today is the first day that actually feels like Fall here in Atlanta. Unfortunately, though, Thanksgiving can be a trying time for families financially. Many families, maybe even some of our neighbors, struggle already to have food to provide for their children. For many kids, school lunch is the only solid meal they will eat each day. I have been lucky to have never gone without food due to financial difficulty, so it is honestly hard for me to imagine that people within my own community are struggling to eat. (See National Geographic’s The New Face of Hunger.) But, whether or not it’s hard to understand, they are. Therefore, this week’s suggestion for how you can change the world is to find a way to ease the financial burden of a Thanksgiving dinner for a family wherever you live. I am posting this early so you have time to do research, save up (I had no idea how expensive turkeys are), and contribute. Many organizations have “Thanksgiving basket” programs and turkey drives. Find one near you, and help a family have a special holiday! Isn’t that a great way to be thankful? Let’s let our gratefulness turn into radical generosity.

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