We are approaching the time of year that seems to be all about traditions. Spending time with family members, eating delicious foods, the giving and receiving of gifts. In our family, mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving are such a big deal that when I saw the above meme, I immediately sent it out to everyone in the family. But every year at Thanksgiving for the last decade or so, my family has also been participating in a tradition that I was hesitant to embrace at first. And mostly because it involves getting up early in the morning.
That’s right – each Thanksgiving morning nearly every year, we’ve been participating in a local “Turkey Trot”. You know, those 5k (or longer?) races that are meant to get participants up and active before they have a chance to overstuff their bellies. I know it was my cousin K who first suggested this one, and I remember that first year of reluctantly lacing up my sneakers in the early hours of the morning, long before I was prepared to be awake on a holiday. And being awake that early was not my only torture; there was a strong possibility of missing the Thanksgiving Day Parade based on the times of the race!
But once I learned about who was sponsoring our race, my opinion shifted quickly. The race is organized by a group called SOME – So Others Might Eat – an interfaith charitable organization that exists to help the poor and homeless in Washington D.C. It has been around since 1970, and has a four star rating on Charity Navigator – the highest rating possible, meaning it “Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its Cause.” That’s pretty darn good. And knowing that this event and the money it raises are a big part of what supports SOME each year in its work is the kind of thing that makes you feel warmer, even when it’s 8 am and chilly on a Thursday in late November.
So today, instead of talking about myself, and my feelings, I am asking you to think of those with less. Those who struggle to find work and affordable housing in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, with a pitiful transit system which is also part of a legacy highway plan that was never meant to handle the capacity it deals with now. There are people who struggle every day, and beyond giving someone on the street a couple dollars, it can be hard to know what to do. If you ever feel like that – like you wish you could do something more, potentially something with a bigger impact, I’ll ask you today to consider donating to SOME. And if you happened to do that through either my personal fundraising page, or through my team’s page, it would mean a great deal to me. I don’t benefit in any way other than knowing who gave – there are no prizes for top fundraisers other than the knowledge that we do good, and I’m probably not reaching that point anyways.
But if you feel like you have what you need in your life (like that tiny turtle with a weeks’s supply of “mershed perderders”), and can spare a little bit more for someone in need, please do so.
We’ll get back to our regular schedule of recipes, pop culture and my personal posts next week.