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From the Sidewalk to the Dinner Table: Tracy's Unseen Angels Plans to Provide Thanksgiving Meals for 7,000 people
This Thanksgiving we will be getting together to be with our families and friends. We enjoy hot, home cooked meals. We look around us and see what we have to be thankful for and enjoy our times of merriment and cheer. Still, not everyone gets to be a part of this joyous moment. Many destitute families, especially those with children, struggle day after day just to make ends meet. Finding a decent meal is a daily chore, so coming up with something fancy and filled with happiness for that particular holiday is a far stretch for them.
However, Tracy Turner believes happiness for this time of year is not far out of reach for any family. This year, she plans to give at least 7000 people a reason to be thankful.
On November 1, Channel News 18 (WQOW) reported a story of a non-profit organization started by Tracy called Unseen Angels in Wisconsin. The aim is to help families who are struggling to get hot warm meals for Thanksgiving at no cost to them.
Tracy came up with the idea when she was renting property to a tenant for $42 a month. Even at that low cost, Tracy knew that wasn’t going to be enough to help her tenant balance her needs.
"Her apartment was empty, “ remarked Tracy. “So I went back to my friends and was like, there's no way that these guys are going to have Thanksgiving.”
According to the organization’s website, Unseen Angels started off with serving 6 families in 2007. By 2011, the organization succeeded in feeding 4,328 people, delivering to as many as 52 cities and 12 counties. More information can be found at the link below:
With the tremendous success of the organization’s reach, Tracy plans to feed at least 7,000 people this year.
Despite the organization's success, there was a time when Tracy had thought her work would come to an end. Sadly, her father passed away recently, which made her consider shutting down the operation. However, her 13 year old son reminded her of the importance of her work:
"And he's like, how many of those were kids? And he was like, so you had a hard year and you got busy and you're not going to feed them? If you aren't, who's going to?"
Who indeed? Being a Good Samaritan can require a great deal of energy and time. For some, that can be a hard thing to do. After all, we all have our own worries to consider, like balancing out life with work. Others may be dealing with a personal issue of their own, such as trying to work out our differences with a significant other or suffering the loss of a loved one like Tracy did. Every day we have something in our minds that troubles us and it makes it that much harder for us to focus on the needs of others around us.
While this is understandable, we really need to take the time to think about the pain that the people in our communities are going through. What we take for granted is something that a lot of others search for in order to survive. We’d like to think that eventually everyone will have the means and resources to survive on their own, but that’s not always the case. People fall on hard times and it can often take them a long time to get out that horrible place, especially with the way the economy is these days.
That’s why it’s incredibly important we understand what it means for Tracy to do the work that she does. Perhaps she won’t be able to feed everyone in the world, but at least she’s providing food for 7,000 people. Imagine if there were 10 other Tracys doing the same thing…or even a hundred. Perhaps that would only happen in a perfect world, but even so this is one person who is making a tremendous positive impact for that many people who don’t know her or have never heard of her.
And that work almost stopped because of what happened to her father. If that had been the case, I don’t think I would blame her. Losing a loved one can really make it difficult to find that strength again to keep doing what you love. Your heart just becomes too heavy with sorrow and doubt to keep up the good fight.
However, her son knew that she could find that strength again if someone reminded her why she founded Unseen Angels. It is because Thanksgiving is a time to remind people that someone out there cares for what happens to them. Someone wants them to feel happiness during this special time of year and most importantly throughout an entire year. Someone like Tracy wants them to live a life where they can enjoy a good meal with good people.
If she didn't about anyone's happiness, then who would?
It’s a question that we need to ask ourselves the next time we see a child barely clothed on the street cradled by a sick mother. Perhaps that mother and child have a shelter to go to for food and warmth However, if too many of us get distracted by our own needs and worries, then eventually those services will be practically nonexistent to them. I believe there are too many kind-hearted people out there to let that happen. We just need to be reminded of that and to act upon it.
Every hungry mouth that’s fed and every cold body that’s offered shelter is another day that a child, a mother, and any other destitute individual gets to enjoy living rather than just trying to survive. So let’s take the time to be the next person in line to offer that hot bowl of soup and comfortable chair to someone in need.