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Thanks to be giving

Thanksgiving is here, and here we have much to be thankful for.

The holiday is among the Top Three in my book. Probably because family means a lot to me, and Thanksgiving tends to be all these mini-family reunions going on, where laughs are handed out by the bushel, and many tables are overflowing with food and drink.

Well, most tables.

There are also many families that are on hard times this season, and maybe a festive table brimming with turkey and ham and all the trimmings might be a little harder to produce.

On one hand, I am thankful for not having to scrap for every meal. I truly look forward to the day when helping myself to seconds and thirds isn’t frowned upon, but rather encouraged. My family likes to see me fall into a food coma sometime during the Detroit game. That gives them someone to jack with all the way up to the Dallas game.

I’m also thankful for the local food pantry, knowing my occasional contributions to it might be helping other families to celebrate with their own special meals.

I saw on the national news Tuesday morning that towns large and small across the country are seeing their own food pantries losing much of their current inventory.

Part of the blame, some say, is the rising price of gas, the housing market crunch, Wall Street corrections, and the war in Iraq.

Another story talked about the anxiety of our nation’s retailers as polls indicate almost a third of Americans plan to spend less this Christmas, because of their current finances.

I don’t want to bum everybody out and say things are going to get worse before they get better. But that, I believe, is almost certain.

We – our people, our churches, our business, our schools – should be even more cognizant of current conditions and the serious hardships that may result for many families, and do what we can to ensure none of them, at the very least, go hungry.

Iowa Parkans have always been responsive to giving. And, despite our local food pantry running low in recent weeks, I’m thinking it has more to do with a growing number of families in need, as opposed to a dwindling number of families that give.

Through this holiday season, let’s make this a time to share what we can afford to share with our local families in need.

In return, they offer a silent and humble “thanks.”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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