I have to admit that it took a while for me to support the United Way. Back in Massachusetts we had a wonderful local group that my wife and I supported, and at work they transitioned from local charities to the United Way as the company that bought out the former ‘family business’ (with >700 employees) … and subsequently came to yell at us for making him look bad by not signing up for the United Way – something he remedied by removing the local choices … which meant simply didn’t sign up and kept my money local. And yes, I do know that the mission of the United Way IS to keep most money local.
And while I now support the United Way (and have definitely seen the good it does through the recession), our focus has always been doing what we can directly in our community, from donations to volunteering to singing at the soup kitchen on Christmas day dinner. It is a great feeling to help those who don’t have the same fortunes we do. So when I read today about the local efforts of one restaurant, it reminded me of how important it is to do what you can in your area.
Here is a snip from the article:
Brendan Holmes was struggling to get his new business off the ground in the fall of 2008 when he was struck by a realization.
A lot of people faced much greater everyday struggles.
As a result, Holmes, who owns Holmes Plate Restaurant at 54 W. Market St. in Corning, started a tradition of offering free Thanksgiving dinners to needy people in the community.
Holmes Plate will offer its fourth Thanksgiving dinner Thursday.
“In October 2008, we were driving by the Salvation Army during one of their food giveaways. I didn’t realize how many people in town were going hungry,” Holmes said. “I approached the pastor at the First Presbyterian Church, who was a customer of ours. I said, ‘On Thanksgiving, I would like to open our doors to feed a family from your congregation for free.’ I wanted to do that for every congregation in the area.”
That first year, despite little time to get the word out, Holmes Plate served 30 free Thanksgiving dinners. That number swelled to more than 60 the second year and 98 last year. Holmes hopes to attract more than 100 people on Thursday.
It is just a reminder to think that many of us will throw out enough to feed an entire family this week during our festivities – so see what is happening, call your local charities and see if you can help out rather than watching football all afternoon!
What great things have you seen going on in YOUR area?
Source: Elmira Star Gazette