Thanks for Giving

I often wonder where kindness has gone in these times of short tempers and angry words. Watching the nightly news can be an agonizing event. Random acts of violence on the subways and shootings in our schools can rattle you to your core. We need an intervention.

Or do we? Maybe I’m looking in all the wrong places? So then I start watching, I mean really paying attention to folks and events around me. Surely I can find some acts of kindness, folks going the extra mile to help for no reason at all.

So I’m at the grocery store running in for a couple last minute items for the big Holiday feast and of course all the lines are long. I decide to just get in line and resign myself to flip through my phone while I wait. As I’m waiting I realize the folks in front of me are buying an amazing amount of food. The woman in front of me is watching me realize how much they have to ring up and begins to apologize, “I’m sorry about the wait, we save up all year to do this big shop for the local Food Bank and we have to use all the coupons”, she’s rattling on now feeling bad about my wait. I try and reassure her, “It’s fine, really, no worries” and I smile. It was beyond ok, they had saved all year to buy food for folks in need, just wonderful.

The next day my husband and I make a run to the store for some Holiday gifts to donate to Toys for Tots. While we’re there, we decide to pick up some Thanksgiving staples for a few families in need. Green beans, instant potatoes, some yams and stuffing fill our cart and I’m feeling pretty excited. The next day, I take our bags across the street and arrange them nicely in the Three Bridges Food Pantry. I close the glass doors and smile at my little Thanksgiving display. I cross back to my yard and head inside to continue working on my own feast. Over the course of the next 24 hours, all the food we had donated was picked up and taken home to others Thanksgiving tables. I was worried the Pantry was empty again.

Every day I was watching the Food Pantry, seeing if it would be filled again before the holidays. I spoke with my husband about the Pantry, expressing my concern for the barren shelves. “It’s not play money” he reminds me and I know he’s right. Times are tight for everyone, part of why there is so much need in all our communities. I sigh and have to move on, but the next day, the Pantry is full again! Another kind person has come and filled the Pantry with all kinds of staples for another family’s meal.

I’ve learned something in all this, there’s kindness everywhere, folks are giving and helping all around. The Little Free Libraries popping up in towns bringing books to everyone. Food Banks in communities giving out food without questions to fill hungry bellies. Toys for Tots giving toys to children of all ages. These beautiful moments happen every day all across this country and I just want to say, Thanks for Giving.

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