Published On: Sat, Nov 25th, 2017

Despite our Differences, We Come Together at Thanksgiving

By: C. Ron Allen

Thanksgiving ranks among one of my favorite holidays.  Not so much for the food that we will be blessed with but this weekend, many of us will spend quality time with family, friends and loved ones.

As we take this time to pause, reflect and celebrate over a nice meal, let us not forget those in our community who are not as fortunate.

Over the past two weeks, I have watched as hundreds of kind-hearted residents were thrust into the Thanksgiving mood. Some cleaned turkeys, others labored over the stove cooking meals and dozens more packed baskets and boxes with the necessary side items that accompany the turkey or ham. Kudos go out to those who went above and beyond their normal jobs to make sure those families were taken care of this Thanksgiving.

On Monday, I watched as employees in the city’s Community Improvement and Parks and Recreation departments passed out several 527 turkeys to families at Atlantic High school. And less than 24 hours later, I saw some of the same recipients in line at the Wayne Barton Study Center here in Boca Raton getting turkeys and baskets of food. It was so exciting to see the diversified group of volunteers helping out on Tuesday.

I am sure some of the recipients also received food from other sources so they will have an abundance of food this week. I only hope they will share a portion of what they collected with some of the needy among them, especially those who could not make it to one of the giveaway events.

Several residents, including Ann Wright of Delray Beach, took food to those seniors who are homebound and do not drive or could not get to the distribution sites.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the staff at capital One Café downtown Delray Beach who made and gave away turkeys and baskets to 15 families around the city on Monday.

While it may seem unbelievable, there are some among us who will go through this holiday hungry.

I received a call and texts on Tuesday night inquiring about food for a family that was lost under the radar. Apparently, there are still residents who are not aware of the many food giveaway opportunities in our community.

Only Wednesday morning, I learned of a story where a family went to Atlantic High School Monday evening to get a turkey but upon arriving at the gate, they saw members of the Delray Beach Police Department’s Criminal Justice Academy assisting. Thinking they were law enforcement personnel and fearing for their immigration status, they turned around and left.

Fortunately, thanks to the Delray Beach Kiwanis Club, which donated 11 turkeys, that family received a turkey and a box of canned goods.

It is my hope that before we even begin to make those New Year’s resolutions in a few weeks, we will try, starting now to be a little bit more caring about our neighbors at other times other than Thanksgiving.

If we are as organized or coordinated as we are during Thanksgiving, we can address the food crisis in our communities.

In truth, Thanksgiving should not be a one-day affair. I think it should be ongoing. We should ensure with the same fervor — all day, every day – that the needy among us are fed.

I also pray this year that we can strive to put more emphasis on appreciating the people and experiences we have in our lives and less emphasis on the petty things that people may say or even do at times. The memories we get from spending time with others and the joy that comes from being content with what we have will last much longer and mean much more than anything that one can say about us.

Finally, I must add that in addition to turkey, pumpkin pie, and football, wherever you are, please add safety to your list of things to keep track of this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

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