Thursday, November 22, 2007

Being Thankful and Giving Thanks

The thoughtful words of Brenda Blagg call upon on us to address the twin specters of food insecurity and true hunger. "This is the time of year when food banks everywhere try to remind those of us fortunate enough not to need them that there are hungry people in this country, including around a half-million in Arkansas. . . . More people experience food insecurity than real hunger, but statistics for both are bad. More than one in 20 Arkansas households know hunger regularly," she reminds us. "Struggling families really need this food safety net provided through donations of goods or money to food banks and pantries. . . . You can give real food, but cash donations may stretch more, given the buying power of a charity. Donations can be made online to Arkansas Foodbank Network at

On this day, I am also thankful that
the Salvation Army in Fayetteville and Springdale will begin serving free meals to those who need them from 10: 30 a. m. until 3: 30 p. m. The Fayetteville location is 219 W. 15 th St., and the Springdale location is 315 Holcomb St. The Seven Hills Homeless Center doors will open at 8 a. m., and food will be served from 11: 30 a. m. to 2 p. m. The shelter is located at 1561 W. Sixth St. in Fayetteville. You can support both organizations with donations of cash, canned goods, or clothing at any time.

I am also grateful for the words and wit of Grady Jim Robinson on Thanksgiving. "We should spend a few moments pondering our blessings. I’ve noticed that the older I get my blessings have changed considerably. We tend to shift toward the simpler things in life," he writes. "This Thanksgiving I give special thanks: For conversations and cocktails with good friends. Fayetteville is a great place for pleasant friendships; For Dickson Street, the Blair Library and the Dickson Street Bookshop; For Fayetteville’s many artists, poets, playwrights and writers, and for all their patrons who appreciate the arts."

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them," said some speechwriter for John F. Kennedy. I am thankful today for both words to live by and deeds that share our blessings, as well as the bounty my friends, family, and community have received.

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