Our Neighbors Are Hungry
Five years ago I was busy preparing for the next day’s Thanksgiving feast when I realized I needed to make a run to the post office. In the car I heard the local news about a turkey give-away at the Salvation Army scheduled for that afternoon. It was part of Chad Pennington’s effort to stay involved in this city where he had his college football career at Marshall University. Recognizing that the hungry are everywhere, he was donating the funds for people to come get the fixings for a nice Thanksgiving meal.
I drove on my errand thinking it was nice of a pro football star to remember his start and the support he had had. And then, I promptly forgot about it.
Upon getting back home, I got back to work preparing for the arrival of our out-of-town guests and then the doorbell rang. There was an older man on my front porch, nervously wringing his hands. He asked if I had a car and when I assured him I did, he asked if I would take his wife and him down to the Salvation Army for their free Thanksgiving dinner fixings.
Immediately many negatives raced through my mind—I didn’t know him, my guests would be arriving sometime soon, I still had things to do. But I also understood that the pathway of my day had put me in the car at the time to hear the story on the radio, and I knew the right thing to do.
I drove my car around to their apartment where his wife struggled out the door. She had been seriously ill, but an ID was needed and he did not have one. As we drove, we marveled about how we could live across the street in this day and time and not even know each other.
Then they asked me if I could pick up one of the dinners for a family who lived in the apartment building on the corner. The woman they knew had 4 children and her husband had the truck as he was able to get a job that day. So, hoping no one would see me do it and wonder what was going on, I showed my ID and picked up a turkey dinner for this other family as well.
The hungry are our neighbors. Reach out.
And remember to count your blessings.