AS THE SCENT OF ROASTING TURKEY fills the house, as tables are set, as friends and family gather, may thankfulness center your thoughts this Thanksgiving Day.
Even in these days of high inflation, political divisiveness and too many people sick with the flu, COVID and RSV, there is reason to pause and feel grateful. Our medical professionals continue to care for patients in overcrowded emergency rooms and hospitals. Post election, hope rises that politicians can work together. And for those who are struggling, individuals and organizations are stepping up to help.
In my community, I see so much compassion and care for others, which truly causes my spirit to fill with gratitude. Last Saturday while exiting a local grocery store, I dropped several bills into the Salvation Army red kettle and thanked the ringers for ringing. What I got in return—bless you—was more than I gave. Later that day at a church boutique, my friend Joy sold holiday porch pots, side tables and benches she crafted from recycled wood, and more with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army.
Today a crew of volunteers will serve a free Faribault CommUnity Thanksgiving Dinner, open to anyone from 11 am – 2 pm at the Faribault Eagles Club. There’s in-person dining, curbside pick-up and delivery (if needed). I’ve delivered those meals in the past and, again, was blessed beyond measure by the grateful words of the recipients. (Monetary donations are accepted for the Faribault Foundation, with a mission of “enriching the quality of life for the Faribault community.)
Every Tuesday evening, volunteers also serve a free dinner at the Community Cafe, hosted at the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour. The non-profit’s mission is “Build Community, One Meal at a Time.”
As more and more people struggle to afford food, to put food on the table, my community provides. Through church food shelves. At St. Vincent De Paul, which shares “faith, food and free resources” with a primary concern of charity and justice. At the Community Action Center of Faribault, a free food market and resource center.
HOPE Center provides Healing, Outreach, Prevention and Education to survivors of violence (and their families) in Rice County. I am grateful to the team that staffs HOPE Center, bringing hope and healing. To witness such compassion warms my heart.
The warmth of compassion also plays out at the Faribault Mill, founded in 1865 as a woolen mill and internationally-known for its quality woolen blankets and other products. For every bed blanket sold, the mill is donating one high quality blanket to nonprofits serving homeless youth in cities across the country. The “Spread the Warmth” initiative has already partnered with 14 nonprofits coast-to-coast, north to south, from Boston to San Francisco, from Minneapolis to Dallas.
There is reason to feel grateful for all of these efforts, to see just how much love, care and compassion exist. I feel heartened, thankful, uplifted by the real ways in which individuals, businesses, faith communities, nonprofits and more strive to care for others. Hope rises.
TELL ME: What are you especially thankful for this Thanksgiving in your community?
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Happy Thanksgiving, Audrey. You are truly a blessing. ❤
I feel the same about you, Penny. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
It was a very nice day, thanks Audrey. ❤
What a wonderful community you live in with all those opportunities to either receive a blessing or to give one! Happy Thanksgiving Audrey!
Thank you, Paula. And I’ll accept that compliment for my community.
you live in such a wonderful, caring, and warm community, who takes care of others, and makes the efforts that can make all the difference in someone’s life, especially anyone who is struggling or left behind in some way. one year when my daughter was teaching a city that had a majority of families struggling just to get by, we delivered turkey dinners to families to cook, and they also had the option to come to the school for a prepared meal to sit with others. one of the most moving and powerful initiatives I’ve ever been a part of and I’ll never forget it. we are so lucky and can never forget that. happiest of thanksgivings to you and yours as well as to your wonderful and giving community.
Beth, I’m so glad you had that experience of delivering Thanksgiving meals. We’ve done that several times and it’s truly a joy. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did.
I really did, and so glad to hear that you did as well –
Happy Thanksgiving, Audrey. It’s good to read such giving going on, it’s more public than when I was there. Then it was mostly in community pockets and family gatherings. Of course, I remember more independence than dependence of society then. During our Thanksgiving Eve service a video was shown about the Community Resource Center support of our church. The effort is even bigger than I imagined. Think I saw a blouse top I donated being tried on for free giveaway. It’s important organized channels are provided. The pro or government programs often lack the personal touch and supervision. The embezzlement charges against Partners in Nutrition, etc…..well, where there’s money. Most are honest. I also just read about the next IRIS walk and gathering. Yup, when they’re not tearing down buildings, they got the “helping” initiative mastered. I’m proud. Thank you for all you do as well. On to Christmas singing!
Sandra, it’s good to hear from you again as it’s been awhile. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. I appreciate what your church does to help those in your community.
On the subject of building tear downs in Faribault, I’m not happy about that either.
This post just warms my heart. We live in a world that is yearning for compassion and love! Your community is an example of that kind of compassion. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you enjoyed your day.
I fully agree. We are a world yearning for compassion and love. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you did also, although I’m certain it was a tad difficult given the recent loss of your dad.