Doing Some Good
Fast, Feast, and Both....
It is a common practice among most LDS members (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) congregations to fast by going without food (even water) for two regular meals on one Sunday of each month and to contribute the money which they and their family might otherwise have spent for those two meals so as to help the poor and needy who are in the most need.
Of course some of those donations even help needy LDS members, but many such donations go to the poor and needy of the world.
Today, in the small town of Lindon, Utah. and in many other American cities and towns, members of many faiths, as well as non-believers, did something even more direct: they cooked and served hundreds of thousands of meals to not only the poor and the needy, but also to the challenged and the lonely.
In the town of Lindon, preparations for feeding approximately 500 people on each national Thanksgiving Day (celebrated natonwide on the fourth Thursday of each November) began almost as soon as the tables were cleared from the very first such meal served Thanksgiving Day 2010, the first use public use of their new Lindon Community Center.
Volunteers and city workers designed flyers and displayed banners, planned decorations and entertainment, appealed for donations of the needed groceries and foods, then cooked and served the foods to all who chose to enjoy the wonderful, free meal.
They did something more, too. Those who could do so donated not only their efforts to setting up, cooking, serving, entertaining, washing dishes, cleaning up, and storing away some of the decorations for next year, but the over-abundance of foods were packed well and donated to soup kitchens, and food-for-the-hungry-and-the-homeless programs. In addition, cash donations were accepted from city residents and even from those attending the meal, and given by the city to further the work of the established groups and services which will care for those in need during the coming winter and months ahead.
What happened in Lindon was only a small part of efforts across America to see that no person was left out on this national day of Thanksgiving. Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout Dens, schools, civic and professional groups, religious groups of all denominatons, media outlets, sports teams, businesses, military units, restaurants, hospitals, and average citizens from the youngest to the oldest, thought of others more needy than themselves, and acted in the spirit of true charity. They not only filled stomachs, and brought smiles; they restored hope and mutual feelings of unity with those less fortunate than themselves.
The full feeling people may have enjoyed from such good meals, and such generous, others-centered charity, can gradually fade in the face of tomorrow's uncertainties, but the memories of shared smiles, and true generosity will also help to warm the spirits of men, women, and children in the seasonaly cold months ahead.
There is a saying which goes something like this, the evil men do is always present before us, but the good that men, women, and children do is not necessarily forgotten even when they are gone.
All those who helped someone else this Thanksgiving Day, or any other day of any year, know the satisfaction that comes from a job well done, and done for all the right reasons.
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