Monday, November 28, 2011

Think Locally Act Thankfully

So it was a busy weekend filled with lots of warm weather and lots of activities. (Though blog posting was not one of them!) How wonderful to have 60 degree weather at the end of November in New England?

Also wonderful...to have the opportunity to donate to charities that are worthwhile. Last week I commented on a charity that operated out of Africa. Today I'm going to talk about a couple closer to home. Not only closer to my home, but closer to just about everyone's home as there are local chapters all over for those who like to think globally and act locally.

Two of the booths at the Alternative Gift Fair were taken by: Habitat for Humanity and the local food pantry. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide affordable homes for needy families. They build a number of homes in areas with donated materials and volunteer labor and assist the families with reasonable mortgage payments and affordable loans. The goal being to keep at risk families above the poverty level and prevent homelessness. Habitat operates worldwide. The other nice thing about Habitat is that in addition to monetary donations, volunteer opportunities exist for those of us who want to give back but have financial issues of our own to contend with.

Food pantries also exist all over in local communities. The food pantry in this area operates by accepting donated food and then putting together and delivering boxes to homes in the area. Most food pantries are especially in need of baby food, baby cereals, and formula. They also accept canned items, boxes of cereal and oatmeal, pastas and sauces, and juice boxes. Some organizations accept fresh produce, others cannot. Its important to check with local agencies to see what they are most in need of. Volunteer opportunites also exist for these organizations, as well. I have worked in the past "out back" sorting food according to category, getting rid of expired products, stocking shelves, and putting together boxes. It sounds rather boring, but in fact, its kind of nice, almost meditative. It's especially nice if you deal with people all day long and just want to chill out and decompress after work while simultaneously doing some good. I spend a couple Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings working in soup kitchens, as well. We made soup, mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies, etc. We served turkey and ham dinners to homeless folks (who always seem to be really, really funny. It's like having a great sense of humor is a needed coping strategy or something) We put together care packages of socks, granola bars, lip balm, sun screen, soap, wet naps, and little first aid kits that all the folks could take when they left. It was a good way to start off a holiday.

I haven't done the soup kitchen thing since returning home where the family lives, but that doesn't make lot of sense, does it? Maybe I need to look one up for this Christmas.

Exercise
Fri 11/25: 30 min walk and abs-- 3 points
Sat 11/26: 12 mile run --12 points
Sun 11/27: 30 min bike and arms--4 points
Today: 0 points :(

Friday I was thankful for:
the fact that my car trouble was totally minor (up and running!)
Saturday I was thankful for:
the unseasonably warm weather
Sunday I was thankful for:
a restful day. they don't come along very often
Monday I was thankful for:
Carol, a former co-worker who is moving on to another job in Florida. She is great. Florida is lucky to be getting her!

1 comment:

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i'm kind of embarrassed to say that I always think about volunteering but then i don't...i guess at least I donate, but really i should do more