I had mild aversion to Thanksgiving as a kid, because I always disliked the “say what you are thankful for” part of the holiday. You know, the five or so minutes that leads off the meal and prevents everyone from stuffing their face for just that much longer. As, presumably, an adult now, I actually like this part of the holiday. I’m the first to remind my family about it, and always like to lead it off if no one else wants to jump on it. It’s like a fight or flight reaction almost, where I’ll dive towards the danger of expressing my feelings and describe what exactly I’m grateful for at that moment.
This change came about with perspective and age, and just an understanding of why I should be grateful for things.
As a kid, I expected stuff. You expect mom and dad to take care of you, expected to have food on the table, expected there to be presents under the tree. As I (purportedly) grew up I realized the sacrifices my parents made and the extra effort they undertook to make sure that was a reality.
So one of the things I always say I’m thankful for is my folks, for always supporting me, whether I’m a kid or 30-year-old man.
This time of year, there are a lot people that can use that kind of support, and just as I was fortunate to have my parents, Lincoln County is lucky to have a truckload of organizations that look out for its residents. There’s the Salvation Army, whose members will be braving the cold in front of local stores so that basic needs for residents can be met.
For women, kids and men suffering from domestic abuse and violence, there’s the Terry L. Robertson Center in Troy, to bring them comfort and safety.
Buddy Bags for the Lincoln County R-III School District, and Pal Pax for the Winfield School District (supplied by First Baptist Church of Winfield), help keep students fed through the long weekends and holiday breaks that come with this time of year. LCCOA looks out for our local seniors, many of whom are veterans, and gets them fed every day through in-house lunches; it also provides them with a way to get out and mingle, and stay social during these frigid months.
The Toys for Tots presence in the county is enormous, and no one has a reason to go hungry on Christmas Day with the free Christmas Dinner served at Zadock’s, Restaurant, which can also be delivered to homes.
Those things I listed are barely scraping the surface. There are communities twice the size of Lincoln County with half of that available to residents. These programs run on the goodwill of those residents who are fortunate enough to have a bit to give, whether it’s giving a box of Poptarts to Buddy Bags, or slipping 10 cents or $10 into the Red Kettle in front of Walmart.
Please show how you are thankful this year by, if you are able, giving a little to your neighbors that need it, in whatever way you can.