It was a Great Day. It was a Thankful Day.

This is what Thanksgiving is all about.

It was a great day. It was a thankful day.

I was privileged to experience it firsthand. Thankful families, thankful donors and thankful volunteers.

On Saturday, Nov. 17, Circle Of Concern distributed 743 packed boxes of holiday food for Thanksgiving including fresh fruit, a turkey or ham and a pie. 593 families will have the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal they can enjoy at home.

What few see is what came before this day. Volunteers started planning this year’s Thanksgiving Basket program a year ago, building on and tweaking the successes of this program in the past. Lists were made, then calls, letters and personal appeals went out to the community to hold food drives.

The response from our community was overwhelming. Starting in early November, trucks of food from food drives started arriving at our warehouse door.

Who could not be thankful?

On box-packing day, 850 empty boxes stood at the ready. Truckload after van load after truckload after overpacked SUV delivered bags and bags, and boxes and boxes of canned and packaged food. I saw peaches and cranberry sauce, all of the ingredients for green bean casserole, pumpkin and corn, pineapple and gravy, mac and cheese, soups and broths, potatoes and stuffing. Who could not be thankful?

And I saw volunteers: high-schoolers unloading trucks, mother and fathers working together with their children, seniors who have long-practiced their volunteer duties, volunteer leaders and staff working together. Sorting cans, unpacking and repacking boxes, pushing shopping carts to gather items for the Holiday baskets for our client families. Handing out fruit and turkeys or hams and pies. 

Who could not be thankful?

While families were picking up their Holiday boxes at St. Johns United Church of Christ in Chesterfield, (and yes, Circle is thankful for the wonderful hospitality St. Johns provided our families and all of the Circle volunteers), I was accepting donations at the Circle location in Valley Park. As each donation came in and I talked with the donors, hopefully I let them know how much they are appreciated. What surprised me the warm hugs and each donor saying that the thanks goes to Circle for what we do. 

Who could not be thankful?

And to the last visitor of the day who came to Circle and simply said: “I am a working man but we have no food in our refrigerator. Can you help me?” He was fed. His gratitude was palpable, when he said he would be back next month when he got ahead and he would make a donation.

Who could not be thankful?

Circle Of Concern’s tagline is “our community’s charity.”

I’m ready to change it to: “We Are All Thankful!”



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Chris H. November 22, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Chris, What a wonderful experience of Thankfulness! Thank you for sharing ... and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too! Chris H. :-)


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