Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving in San Ignatio

I am proud of our little community's efforts to help each other, especially the efforts of Old Mission Church. Thanksgiving is not only no exception but it is a major big deal. Last Thursday, the Old Mission Church hosted a thanksgiving meal for any and all in town, regardless of social or economic standing. Those who could afford to donate, gave money. Those who knew how to cook, cooked. Someone anonymously donated 20 frozen turkeys. Twenty people raised their hands to cook them and bring them to the feast. Those with neither money nor cooking talent helped clean. As for me, I also helped clean. I can donate, but I cannot cook, and I do like to feel useful. We had so many cleaners, though, that it took less than a half hour to clean up after a three-hour meal for which more than 25% of the town showed up. No one should have been left hungry in San Ignatio on Thanksgiving Day. Those who did not attend, I suppose, were having dinner with relatives; I do know a number of people who donated in lieu of helping because they had planned family meals. We have come to enjoy the town meal so much, though, that we leave Shane's thanksgiving meal as a special event for Lemony's family, making the preparation easier for her, and instead participate in the community event, taking along Noelle, now that she is without Roy, and Doah, pictured above at the feast with Sr. Delores from our local Franciscan convent, Sisters of the Atonement. Every community should be so interwoven and caring -- little more than a big family, which is not such a little thing after all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am taking the day off from blogging to attend morning Mass and then help out all afternoon at Old Mission's community dinner -- open to all, regardless of SES or church affiliation. I will also take some time during the day and evening to drop in to followers' blogs with Thanksgiving greetings.

Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Invisible People

I would like to bring readers' attention to one of the blogs/websites that I list on my blogroll, whence came the picture above. (I am sure I will be forgiven for "borrowing it.") The site is called "Invisible People," and it accomplishes the intent of H2 Helper perfectly.

Each blog post focuses on an individual. Through a video, the individual is introduced to blog visitors. No longer is the individual just a face in the crowd. The individual is now a person with whom visitors can identify.

Poverty, whether it be felt through hunger or homelessness or both, is not without a face. However, it often is easier to drop a few coins into an outheld hand than to invite that person to share a meal. When we take in the former action, we fail to engage with the people whom we are helping. Our charity takes on an impersonal nature. When we take the latter action, we do engage with the people we are helping. Our charity not only takes on a personal nature, but the rewards are two-sided: the helper is rewarded along with the helped. Getting to know someone personally is always a reward, no matter who that person is.

People should not be invisible. The poor, the homeless, the hungry, the ill -- they are not all that different from those of us who have not had to carry these crosses. Looking the other way makes them seem invisible, but it does not make them invisible. They are real, and they deserve our respect and personal attention (and, if only for a brief time, our friendship). That thinking is what the Invisible People website hopes to catalyze by introducing real people to readers.

Stroll on over and meet some fine folks!