Where were you when hurricane winds devastated the entire island of Puerto Rico, significant sections of Houston, Texas and portions of Florida south from Miami through the Keys? Did you watch in horror as wildfires swept through the wine country north of San Francisco, leaving behind an unrecognizable barren path of ashes where thousands of homes and businesses once stood?
This year, more than any other in recent history, the slate of natural disasters across our nation is sobering and the scope of those disasters is staggering.
Will you think about the victims of those natural disasters when you sit down to a dinner of roast turkey and pumpkin pie?
My challenge to you this week is simple: Find a way to share your blessings with those victims. Here are a couple ideas to get you thinking of a way to turn Thanksgiving into the kind of teaching moment that creates lasting memories for guests of all ages.
- Write a check to each of your dinner guests including children; make it for a sum you can afford, and use it to mark their places at the table. Ask them to find a way to use that money to help one or more of these natural disaster victims.
- Choose a charity whose focus on these disasters and the victim’s needs appeals to you. Research it with Charity Navigator to be sure it is legitimate and that most of your donation will get to the victims. Then add donations in your honor to that charity to your Christmas wish list.
- If you live near one of these devastated areas, ask members of your church, book group, P.E.O. or Rotary Chapter, or any organization you are a part of, to help you host a Thanksgiving meal for some of the families that lost their homes. As you eat the meal together, ask them to share their stories of loss and any unexpected blessings that stemmed from the disaster.
Whether we are talking about the death of loved ones caused by a natural disaster or the destruction of a family’s home and possessions, holidays have a way of intensifying the pain of every loss.
How will you share your blessings to ease that burden for someone?
Blessings on your efforts,