Tis the season…
The holidays are undoubtedly a special time for many people. You get together with family and friends, uncles and grandmas fly in from all over, you spend days cooking elaborate meals and chasing the dog out of the kitchen. It’s stressful, hectic, but ultimately satisfying and heartwarming. We’re getting together for the sole purpose of being thankful. We’re gathering around a table because we want to take a minute to think about just how lucky we are to have what we have, and to have each other.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that we also think of those who have far less. Those who struggle each day for not only food, but shelter, love, or support. At a time when the oven and cupboards and guest rooms are full, our minds go to those who have nothing, and we want to give. What better time than the holidays?
We here at Philabundance are in the business of collecting from those who have, and giving to those who have not enough, to put it simply. This time of year, we hear from lots of people who want to take a day out of their busy lives and help someone else. It’s wonderful – committing a selfless act is important for everyone to do now and again. But I have noticed a trend, especially around this time of year. People come from the woodwork and want to help on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but no other day.
I understand the feeling – you have so much, and you want to make things better for someone who has so little. But this situation begs the question – where do those who have so little go on the other 363 days of the year? True, the winter is tough on people whose finances are strained – higher heating bills eke in on the monthly food allowance for many. But the middle of summer is just as tough on a struggling family as November is. Hunger isn’t a seasonal issue, it haunts our neighbors and friends and those we haven’t met all the time, without discrimination.
My plea to those of you who want to help during this time of year is simple. Philabundance distributes food all year. Our nearly-500 member agencies serve food to their clients all year. The soup kitchens and homeless shelters that provide temporary relief for those in need are doing so all year. Philadelphia and New Jersey need you all year. Along with volunteering this holiday season, I beg you to also try Thanksgiving in April, or Christmas in August. Mix it up – I promise you that a selfless act in the middle of summer feels just as good as it would this Thanksgiving.
So come when you can.
We’ll be here.