Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinners

Wow! Busy morning today.

I was part of a three-woman detail who went grocery shopping this morning to get items needed for the turkey dinners the Women's Group at our church is fixing up to give to families in our area who are in need of a hand-up for Thanksgiving Day dinner.

The Thrivent Organization (Lutheran Social Services Agency) has for several years now donated a number of turkeys to each of the Lutheran churches in our region and then, each church, in turn, has then given a turkey to various households in our area where families who might be having a bit of a hard time managing from time to time. Each year, the number of turkeys that we receive to give away may vary from 20 to 30 birds. This year, we will be delivering a turkey to 24 different family -not all necessarily members of our parish but rather, members of the local community.

This year, WELCA, our women's group, decided we would contribute more to this meal and as such, we are now providing the fixings for a Thanksgiving feast to these families.

Our shopping carts were filled to the brim! We purchased instant mashed potatoes, jars of prepared turkey gravy, stuffing mixes, green beans, mushroom soup, french-friend onions (to top the green bean casseroles, ya know), yams, mini-marshmallows, cranberry sauce, brown 'n serve dinner rolls and even frozen pumpkin pies and a package of brownie mix. All this in addition to the turkey already being provided by Thrivent!

I wish you could have seen us at the checkout counter!

The clerk there really was grateful I'm sure that the store has a barcode scanner or else, she would have had a long task ahead of her if she would have had to ring in -or even swipe -each and every item individually.

The total cost of all the groceries we purchased for these packages came to almost $640! The store donated brown paper bags to us to pack the items in and Pastor Carrie is going to write a "greeting" on each bag then -some type of quote from the Bible -so that the families who receive this dinner package next week will know this is being done by a religious organization but beyond that, there are no strings attached to these bags. No ploys to try to get people to come and get involved in our church or things of that nature. Not that if any of these folks would decide they wanted to become a part of our church community, they sure wouldn't be turned away, but the dinner is not contingent on anything like that at all.

On Sunday, after church, the women -along with the young people in Pastor Carrie's Confirmation classes -will get together to bag up these foods and next week -on Monday -at least one lady from our group and I will be delivering these packages to the families selected this year.

I think this is a wonderful gesture of sharing our bounty with those less fortunate. To make different foods and then, to give them to others -whether they are perhaps homebound and can't get out or who have difficulty fixing things or to take into places where I used to work (back in the day) just to share something a little special as a treat to my co-workers has always been something I enjoyed doing and still do whenever I can.

Just the gift of a big turkey is such a nice sharing gesture but I'm really looking forward to delivering these bags with all the fixings for a great Thanksgiving meal and seeing the look of surprise on the faces of the recipients will really make Thanksgiving something much more special for me this year.

We had talked about the possibility of serving a Thanksgiving Dinner at our church to any and all who wanted to just share a meal with others but decided we weren't quite ready to handle something that involved -at least not this year. But that is a thought we are considering for some time in the future.

Now, just hope -and pray -the weather next week when we begin to deliver these bags holds up and we don't have to worry about slippery roads or sidewalks, etc.

Four carts, loaded to the gills, by the time we were finished with our shopping.


Sandee said...

May the weather be perfect for the wonderful thing you are all doing. Bless you all.

Have a terrific day. :)

Mary said...

Jeni, these families will be truly blessed with all the fixin's for a Thanksgiving dinner. Many are struggling through this recession and many who never did before are having to use a food bank. I'm glad there are ladies like you out there lending a helping hand. I hope you have a great time delivering your bags of goodies.


janeywan said...

That sounds like so much fun and it would be so rewarding to help families out this year. I'm sure times are tough for a lot of people that have lost their jobs, homes etc.
Mother earth will surely grant you nice weather..