Yesterday while eating dinner we enjoyed seeing hundreds of people participate in Turkey Tuesday. This is a Phoenix phenomenon where a local TV station promotes individuals, churches and businesses to donate Turkeys to St. Vincent de Paul Center. It was so exciting to see one of my close friends and partners, Brad Ghaster, donate towards Turkey Tuesday. I had a similar opportunity on Monday to receive 55 turkeys and food baskets from Shepherd of the Desert Church in Scottsdale.
I spent the afternoon with a group of friends making deliveries to a group of grandmas and low-income families that wouldn’t have had anything for Thanksgiving. It’s so incredible how our partner church, Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran, comes up each year with a list of items for the food baskets that the larger church family donates and the women’s group put together these amazing baskets. I always chuckle because they put the food in an incredible laundry type plastic basket that is always a big hit. Many keep asking ‘Do I have to give back the basket?’ and my response is NO it’s yours use it.
One of the biggest goals in my life is to continue to be a person who is quick to say THANK YOU and then live out what it means to be a giver. It’s so easy to be on the receiving end but not as easy to be someone that is on the lookout to see others in need and be creative in seeing ways to help in the right fashion. I have the privilege of being on the giving side of life because of so many special friends that provide the means and ability for my organization to help those that are less fortunate. I love doing this because I have an opportunity to see tears of joy and then for me to humbly understand the responsibility many of us have to live out our calling to share out of our abundance.
I just love the thanksgiving season because I know that we will do a painting blitz that will involve hundreds of volunteers that will show real kindness to a group of seniors and then the following week have the privilege of providing a great Thanksgiving meal to families who wouldn’t have a turkey on Thanksgiving day. I’m so appreciative of many close friends who have influenced me by their living example to care and give of their time, talents and treasures.
I had spent an hour yesterday talking to a new friend who was interested in helping the homeless in downtown Phoenix. As we were finishing our conversation she was quick to agree with me that it’s incredible how many people do step up during Thanksgiving and Christmas to help but what about the rest of the year? What about the middle of the summer when it’s in the 100’s in Phoenix and many are gone for the summer to enjoy the beaches in San Diego or Rocky Point?
So as you approach Thanksgiving please remember, reflect and give thanks and keep your eyes open to see an opportunity to give to someone that doesn’t expect it.