Once again, the news on this Thanksgiving Day is not much better than that of a year ago. Times are still tough.
Unemployment is still hovering around 8 percent, and that’s not counting those who have simply given up trying to find a job.
Mortgage foreclosures are still high and so is the number of online services available to show you how to take advantage of those less fortunate.
Among other things, our leaders in Washington need a lesson on working together to keep our great nation from stepping over the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. There is much to gain in compromise and much to lose with inaction.
Crimes and arrests in many of our local communities continue to climb. The frequency and severity of weather-related disasters striking close to home continue to remind us how fragile, vulnerable and unprepared we really are.
Amidst all this, local food banks have reminded us that there is a significant jump in demand for Thanksgiving meals for the homeless and hungry, and a growing need year-round.
Charitable giving over the last two years hasn’t come close to the need of most organizations. Governments once held the line on funding for non-profit groups. Now they’ve turned to lowering the line on giving. In some cases, like our own The Open Line of Pennsburg, that source of funding has disappeared.
But we are still a community with strong individuals who aren’t afraid to treat each other, and strangers, like family – especially in times of need.
We have plenty to be grateful for. It may be opportunity, friends, family or life itself. We need to remember all that is good and not dwell on what we don’t have. No matter how hard your life is, there are people who suffer more and have less.
There have been good times and some of us may have let the bad times overshadow them. When the problems of the world creep closer to home, they sometimes make it feel that things are only getting worse. That’s when we need to embrace the opportunity to pause, take stock of our lives and be thankful for what we do have and be helpful to those less fortunate.
Please donate, if you’re able, to the charity of your choice and help them help others. Or donate directly to those in need to help them help themselves. Pennsburg’s Rev. Frank Buchman once said that, “People sometimes need a hand up, not a hand out.” Pride sometimes keeps people in need from reaching out. Show them you care and reach out to them.
Remember to be thankful that you can still make a difference and enjoy the feeling you’ll get in knowing that you embraced the opportunity to do so. Someone somewhere will be thankful you did.
Charles Dickens once wrote, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Lighten the burden for someone today; and do it whenever you can.