...for E's class Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. I made this cute paper bag turkey this morning. Instead of stuffing mine with popcorn - it's full of the kids' party favors to tomorrow's event. Cute, no? (What did we do before the Internet? I read too many blogs for my own good and end up with all of these neat crafty ideas from so many places!)
(I realize I've been very lax in blog posting lately....and there are about 100 reasons for that, including but not limited to illness, new freelance business, the looming "most wonderful time of the year", E's school activities, out of town guests, get-togethers with friends etc etc etc....I'll catch up eventually, but today I'm taking a moment to focus on something that's been on my mind a lot lately).
I'm passionate about a lot of things. My family. My friends. My faith. My home. My work. But lately, those in need have been on my mind a lot. Especially those whose financial needs are so great, they struggle to feed their families. And yes, I know that this time of year, food banks, food pantries and the needy are covered more and more in the media - it seems to be "trendy" to highlight those in need around the holidays....but really, those in need have those needs year-round, not just when it's "hip" to highlight them in the newspaper.
This recent article highlighted the fact that food pantries are facing greater-than-ever demand, due to the economy and the times. Need is nothing new....but the ranks of those in need are growing.
Many of you know that I save gobs with coupons by learning from cool friends, reading money-saving blogs and doing this every week. As a result, our grocery bills have continued to go down, but our pantry, refrigerators and freezers are full-to-bursting. Especially with seasonal sales on all kinds of pantry items, we've been able to stock up like never before. And when you can get items for pennies, it's even easier to donate to those in need. I've been thrilled to donate bags and bags to our local food pantry through our church's mission to aid them. These past few weeks, I've been focusing on Thanksgiving meal and holiday-baking related items (or whatever comes up as a super bargain when pairing coupons with sales....it's also been staples like broths, soups and other easy to prepare things).
It brings me great joy to help out with this simple need: helping a mission provide food for someone's table. One item in today's grocery deal haul was pancake mix. How many times have you made pancakes for your family on a Saturday-morning...while everyone is still clad in jammies....such fun times together! Or maybe you've enjoyed breakfast-for-dinner on a night that nobody wanted to cook, or you just wanted to enjoy a cozy meal on a dark, cold night? I'm thankful that I can help provide a pancake dinner (on a dime!) to someone who might not otherwise be able to do such a thing.
I've donated to the community in all kinds of ways, but this holiday season, those without enough to eat are in my heart and on my mind (and certainly in my prayers!) As I work creatively each week with my grocery budget to feed my own family, I'm also looking for as many ways as possible to feed those who don't have enough.
What's your passion? What's in your heart and on your mind? What ways are you seeking to serve this holiday season?
Sweet E often asks to go on what she calls a "newspaper walk"... not a nature walk, mind you, although it is often that, too, but a "newspaper walk". E loves to find people's newspapers on the sidewalk and take them up to deposit them on their doorstep. It's very serious business to her, and she's always very deliberate about where she places the papers at each home.
I often wonder what people think when they see her delivering newspapers to people's doors. We have had a few chuckles from dog-walkers and power-walkers when we've been out on our rambles. I also wonder what people think when they open their front door to find that their newspaper has been placed on the mat, just so.
We'll probably never know what goes through their minds. But isn't that part of the fun of doing something nice for someone and expecting nothing in return? A little surprise of the tiniest sort to brighten someone's day? My sweet E is learning early that it can be so fun and fulfilling to be kind to others, no matter how small the action. You go, little girl, you go!