Today in the United States, it’s Thanksgiving Day. All across the country, people are sitting down with their families to enjoy food and togetherness in a way that they simply don’t do at any other time of the year. I’ve often told people here in Canada that Thanksgiving in the US is “bigger than Christmas,” since the only real tenet of the holiday is giving thanks for what you have. It doesn’t matter what religion (if any) you follow – everyone has something that they can be thankful for.
To combat the homesickness that I inevitably feel on this day, I’m being thankful for what I have. I have a loving husband, a wealth of friends and family, and three great cats. I have a roof over my head, reliable transportation, a (mostly) sound mind and body, and a good job. I also have access to clean air, clean water, and enough food to eat.
But as everyone knows, not everyone in the world has enough to eat, including too many people here in Winnipeg. So as the holiday season approaches, please consider giving generously to the charities in the Winnipeg area that help those who struggle to feed themselves and their children every day. Here are just three local charities for you to consider giving to.
Winnipeg Harvest is the main food bank for Winnipeg and the surrounding area. They accept food donations at their main warehouse on Winnipeg Avenue, or at many grocery stores around the city. They maintain a list of their top ten most wanted food items on their website if you need help figuring out what food to donate. You can also donate financially at their office, on their website via CanadaHelps.org, or over the phone. As Christmas draws near, you can expect a lot of food and donation drives for Winnipeg Harvest; you can find a calendar of them on their website.
Agape Table is a secular, community-based organization that runs a number of services for the community, including free emergency meals, low-cost breakfasts and bagged lunches, and a low-cost grocery store. Agape Table does all this without receiving any money from any level of government. Instead, it relies wholly on donations. You can donate to them through their website , over the phone, or through the mail.
If you work in an office in Winnipeg, you’ve probably heard of the Christmas Cheer Board. Every year since 1919, groups around the city get together and put together a Christmas hamper for needy families. If your workplace is not sponsoring a hamper of its own, you can donate groceries and toys at a variety of sites, or make a financial donation.
As the holiday season ramps up, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to consider those who may not have as much as you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.