As the temperatures begin to drop and the leaves fall, I am excited to say – Thanksgiving is on its way.  If your family is like mine, we love this time of year as we prepare for the big dinner, invite family and friends, and root for our favorite football teams.

And if your family is like mine, you know how blessed we are that these family traditions are possible for us… we are among the fortunate ones.  Our children don’t know what it’s like to go hungry, face eviction, work sick, or have our cars repossessed.  They don’t know what it’s like to dread a phone call or a knock at our door.  They don’t understand the pain of being told there will be no special meal or turkey on their table because the resources are just not there.

I want to share with you a Thanksgiving story I will never forget.

It was about this time of year, and a 2nd grade teacher in one of our local elementary schools asked her students to share what they were doing for Thanksgiving.

The students were so excited as one after another told of traveling, skiing, going to their grandparents’ homes, or having family come in from out of town.  They drew pictures of the wonderful table where they would all sit, and even of the turkey – the centerpiece to the meal.

One boy, the little boy of one of our clients – a single mother, just shrugged his shoulders when it was his turn.  He told his teacher that he didn’t know what the plans were, and was confused by the question.  So as to not embarrass the child, the teacher moved on to the next student.

When his mother got home that night – she worked as a housekeeper in one of the large hotels in the area – he asked her what the plans were for Thanksgiving.

With tears in her eyes she told him she had to work a double shift that day.  She would be home in the evening and hoped to have a meal.  Not a Thanksgiving meal, just something instead of fast food, sandwiches, or cereal.

Our GRACE families struggle every day with choices like utility bills or gas money, a flu shot or school supplies rent or car repair.  “Frills” like a turkey, dressing, and a can of green beans, are not on their priority list.

Your gift can make a difference in so many lives.  Our clients want to break out of the cycle of poverty they’re in.  With our core services of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, your support of GRACE gives them the lift they need to become productive, self-sufficient families in our community.

Please, as you are making your Thanksgiving plans, take just a moment to make a gift to GRACE.  Giving a little back feels so good, and it helps remind us of those things we have to be thankful for.