This week as you shop for your Thanksgiving feast, try something a little different. Instead of just buying food and tossing it into the barrels at the front of the grocery store, actually fill a brown paper bag for someone on your street or your apartment floor. It really becomes much more personal. Make this shopping day a new tradition for your family from now until the 2nd week in January. Just think about how nice it would be if you were in need and you stepped up and took the pressure of the holiday season off of someone you have seen or actually know in your area. If you do not have someone or a family in your neighborhood, check with your house of worship. Check with your child’s teacher at school, or simply sit it by someone’s front door. I can’t tell you how you will know, but you just will. Put fear aside and give.
What to put in the grocery bag? Bread, Peanut Butter, Cereal, Boxed Juice, Fruit, Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Soup, Canned Meats, water, how about some holiday cookies to brighten and bring a smile, toilet paper, soap, you know the basics.
Enclose a simple note. It might read something like this: “Our bounty blesses you and yours!” Or, “You are worth more than you can possibly imagine and we care about you.” Or even, “May God Bless You and Yours!” “Happy Thanksgiving”, “Happy Holidays”, “Happy New Year”.
When you buy your Christmas or Hanukkah groceries tuck in a favorite children’s book, sweet treat or some other little seasonal thing. You’d be amazed how it will raise another person’s spirit. When you fill your New Year’s grocery bag, why not throw in some Happy New Year’s party items, even sparkling cider. You see you just never know whom you are blessing. That little extra touch could really make a difference in this person’s life and the lives of their family.
I can assure you, you will fill so full of love and generosity, you will beam.
Don’t go and brag about it. Let it be your secret. Keep it buried in your heart. When ever you think about this little act of a bag of groceries you will smile. Perhaps every time you grab a cart in the grocery store you will fill another brown paper bag. You know people need help all 52 weeks of the year. Do a simple search on your computer and see what is needed in your community. There are so many ways to help out.
There are still thousands and thousands of people on the East Coast who will not be in their homes for Thanksgiving this year. Can you imagine what might happen if you drove into those areas and brought a family home with you to have a hot shower and a warm delicious meal? You don’t need to be afraid. They are just people who have lost everything. I am sure if you look around in your own neighborhood there in NJ, NY and CT you will find someone or a family who isn’t going to have a traditional Thanksgiving or Holiday this year. Who is that in your area?
Life is too short to draw your drapes and ignore what is going on outside your four walls.