Giving in Thanksgiving
Published on November 19-20, 2016 in the Parish Bulletin of Jesus Our Savior Catholic Church, Morehead KY
This year, I have one more reason to give thanks to God: the extraordinary way in which our parish family has stepped up to give families in need in our local community a reason and the means to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Every year, eleven agencies in town compile a list of families in need and they ask local Churches to commit to a certain number of baskets for the Community Thanksgiving Basket drive. Jesus Our Savior Church usually provides 10-15 baskets for this annual appeal. (I am told that there was one year that we were able to provide 20 baskets.) This year, thanks to your generous giving, our Social Concerns Committee counted 28 baskets from our Church and there were enough additional miscellaneous items and donations that could have raised that number to 32 baskets!
This, of course, has been the shared effort of our whole parish. Many of our parishioners contributed items for the baskets while some families assembled full baskets for the drive. Our children in Religious Education provided the cans of green beans and corn for all the baskets. Our parish staff put together a basket, as did the college students of our Newman Center. I was edified to learn that Coach Rob Tenyer and the Morehead State University Eagles Football Team had brought in eight baskets to the Church!
In addition to these assembled baskets, we received donations from several households and from our Knights of Columbus Council No. 16206. Our Social Concerns Committee used some of that money to purchase individual items to fill up some of the baskets, but they have also asked the donors if they would consider redirecting their donations to the Senior Boxes for Rowan County Christmas. Last year, we were only able to raise $140 of the $400 that we needed to provide these boxes for senior citizens in need in our community. Thanks to the redirected donations, we have already raised $200, half of what we need for this worthy cause.
Every year, we celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation, knowing full well that we have received all that we have, all that we are, and all that we are able to give away from the hand of our God who never tires in giving us His bountiful blessings. The best thanksgiving, of course, is for us to emulate the Lord’s gesture of giving, to give from what has been given to us, something that our parish family has done so wonderfully for our neighbor this Thanksgiving Day.
But, the season of giving has only begun. This weekend, we will have the Angel Tree set up in the Church foyer for Rowan County Christmas. We will also have a box for donations for the Senior Boxes. I hope that we will continue to step up as a parish family and exceed once again not just our own expectations in giving but the needs of the needy in our county.
That in itself would be another reason, not just for me but for all of us, to give thanks to God.