For years, I would coordinate Thanksgiving Outreaches that would provide 200-600+ meals to be distributed island wide the Saturday before the holiday. After much reflection and inner struggle, I decided to tailor back and brainstorm a different way to bless the community. Although these outreaches are great and so appreciated, I personally found more emphasis on fundraising and coordinating than really celebrating relationships and all the blessings that come with them.
How can I give back in a way that fosters relationships and goes beyond just one day?
Last Thanksgiving, with the help of family and friends, we purchased 2 cooked, and ready to serve Thanksgiving meals from Zippy’s Restaurant. From there, we blasted posts on social media, giving others the opportunity to select two families within the community who would be blessed by these meals. We didn’t want to put limitations on who we were going to give them to. Whether it was to college students away from home, a single mom, a family too busy working and not able to make dinner, to firefighters on the job, to anyone who would be blessed.
The meals were given to two very special individuals and their families. I worked alongside Esmeralda and Anita at Mililani High School, and day in and day out, I witnessed hard work, diligence, and perseverance. Esmeralda would come into my office every afternoon to tidy up and tell me stories about her family. Anita was my eyes and ears around campus. She would stop by to tell me how well (or not well) my students were behaving! I decided to bless Esmeralda and Anita with these meals, not because they weren’t able to provide it for themselves, but simply because I noticed their hard work and I appreciated that.
Thanksgiving morning, Adam and I woke up early to pick up the meals and hand deliver them to Esmeralda and Anita. Esmeralda and her family do not typically celebrate Thanksgiving, and were extremely thankful for us providing their first American Thanksgiving meal! Anita and her husband were hosting a big celebration later in the afternoon, and was so grateful to be assured that she would have enough food for everyone.
We didn’t just donate meals, we formed a connection and fostered friendships that will surely last longer than that delicious pumpkin pie!
HELP US CARRY OUT THIS TRADITION OF SELECTING TWO FAMILIES TO BLESS THIS THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below for your suggestions.
Let’s be a blessing.
#BeInspired #BEaBlessing #hawaiigivesback