This Thanksgiving was supposed to be like all the others, first have a large dinner at my home and invite all of my friend family and we would sit around the table and share small talk and after the youngest child would put a star atop the friend family tree and watch their smile light up the room. On Thanksgiving day proper we would meander over to my husbands family home and have a traditional family meal and enjoy all the smiles and laughter (and of course the little ones arguing) that come with that.
Friend family Thanksgiving has always been my way of giving back to those I love, but with all the excitement as of late, I have had no time to plan or organize a dinner at my home. So my husband suggest I donate one. Good call husband!
I posted an ad on our local online yard sale that stated I wanted to give 1 family a free Thanksgiving dinner. I immediately received emails and posts on my business page. “Oh goodness” How could I choose just one person? I decided I would draw a name from a hat (in this case randompicker.com).
Here is where the miracle comes in.
1 person left a comment on my ad. “I would like to donate a turkey as well” the post had said, and then another comment asking to donate more, and when I awoke today 5 dinners had been donated, but it didn’t stop, by 9 PM tonight 7 full meals had been donated. And I am near to tears right now.
Why should I cry over a few meals?
I have not always been so blessed in my life and indeed it was only recently that I have come into my own. About 6 years ago my family of 5 was living in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment, we had just moved in and had very little money to have a holiday with. Our old home was run down and the landlord would fix nothing. Forced into this place, all I wanted to do was to go home and for life to be what it had before. It was 4 days before thanksgiving and I was really pushing to get some clients on my schedule to get money for Thanksgiving dinner. I had stayed up all night and day with no responses. I felt hopeless. I decided to take a nap on the sofa while the kids were at school. There came a knock at my door, I opened it to find a man in biker leathers and a teenage boy at his side. He simply said my name and I replied “yes”. His serious and almost nerve wracking face opened up into a giant smile. I saw then an angel at my door, his son left for a moment and came back with a turkey and held it in front of him. I looked at the man and his son with a questioning look. He simply shook his head and said “wait”. He left for a moment and came back with two more boxes. The following week another man called my husband and told him he would like to meet with him, and that he had something for him. We met him at Wal mart and he bought Christmas dinner for us, but when we arrived back to our car, he said there was more. He walked us to a half full pickup and proceeded to pull out bag after bag of Christmas gifts for our children.
You see, I have tears now because I remember the heartache of possibly telling my kids that there would be no Thanksgiving or Christmas. I remember the feeling of losing hope. But I remember as well, the strangers who to this day remain nameless, who did not forget those less fortunate. Those men, they did not just bring us food and material items, they brought us the reminder of the human spirit, the gift of hope and the promise of renewal. I promised myself, that one day, if I should ever stand tall on my own 2 feet, I would do the same.
I’ve read so much animosity in the last few months about how people just want others to carry them, or how they don’t want to help others if they can’t help themselves. But I disagree, there is much to say about the human spirit in times of need. It isn’t about giving the money or the food, it’s about lifting your fellow man from a place to where they are inspired enough to do the same for others. Love is contagious but so is anger and sorrow, I choose to spread love, I choose to be an inspiration in every way I can. I choose to take care of those around me, when they cannot care for themselves. All I gave was ONE TURKEY dinner, and yet there are now seven families fed. It’s a choice to make, if you want an amazing world, YOU have to choose to start making it that way. I’m one person, I am still not rich, though far better off then I was. I have a tight schedule, but there is always time for love.
I hope that this post will inspire others as well. You don’t have to give a turkey dinner, you could give a simple smile, or even do the things our own grandparents held as common courtesy. Hold the door open, help someone reach that top shelf, help an old lady with groceries. Give a homeless person coffee. You see, it’s not about your money, it’s about the time you take to recognize there is more behind the facade.
Happy Thanksgiving and thank you to everyone who has helped achieve something so beautiful and to all of those who have done so in any manner at any time of the year. You are truly awesome. Thank YOU!