Imagine the conversation: “Hey. Don’t worry about preparing ANY food for Thanksgiving this year. We’ve got you covered..”
On Saturday, I contacted the five families that were chosen for a complimentary, gourmet Thanksgiving meal provided by the Gilmore Collection.
Having the experience of giving these families the news felt surreal. The responses were a mix of shock and gratitude, followed by a tremendous sense of happiness and relief about not having to worry about the big meal this Thursday. Here are the redacted versions of the stories:
[Mom] and [Dad] have two young children. [Oldest daughter] has been battling brain cancer since she was a couple months old. They have to live in their mother’s basement because finances are tight. [Dad] lost his job this past year because of absenteeism to be with her during treatments.
Mom and Dad have adopted >6 kids out of foster care in the past three years. While they do have food in the fridge, it is always an ordeal to cook for a big family. I know that this would bless them substantially, in order to just BE together for a meal, no stress about prepping. Mom suffers from fibromyalgia and it flares up in the winter. They just have a ton on their plate, and are so worth blessing the heck out of.
The story is about [name], who is a wonderful women who has been fighting breast cancer for a few years now. She’s had the chemo, radiation, and surgeries. We thought the cancer was gone. We thought she was clear. It’s come back again. Tumors in her back are giving her pain. She’s begun radiation again. All of this while she continues to raise her [number] children who are living at home while attending school.
She is someone who is always giving back – helping with our homeless and Heartside neighbors. She has a heart of gold. It would mean the world to her and her kids to receive a Thanksgiving meal!
[Husband] and [wife] have been having a hard time of things lately. Recently, [husband] had to put [wife] in a nursing home temporarily due to living circumstances changing. He deeply loves his disabled wife, but was unable to care for her on his own. Because of her need for full time care, he is unable to work. Yet while she was in the nursing home, he managed to visit her regularly and managed to scrape together enough money to rent a home so she could leave the nursing home.
[Young woman] is suffering through the sudden loss of her mother. She died very recently after a long battle with cirrohsis and they were incredibly close. [She] essentially put her own life on hold to love and take care of her mother in her final years. She is a very sweet and compassionate young woman and the eldest of [number] children, but since the loss of her mother, she has turned into herself and has become quite depressed. Me and my extended family don’t have very much money (we live out of state and cannot afford to fly her out–she is a college student at [local college]) but we would love to know that she and her boyfriend will have a nice thanksgiving this year.
The holidays were always her favorite time of year. Her mother was a superb cook and the life of every party. We are all feeling her loss this holiday season but I know [she] is having a particularly difficult time.
To give good news and receive the amount of gratitude back was a neat moment. Giving the families a call made me really think about the Thanksgiving season. We’re told to be thankful for the people we know, and the assets we are lucky to own, ironically, it’s easy to lose insight on the basic things we take granted. Health, agility, and even food supply.
Let’s remember these things this Thursday, and commit to help others who don’t have these basics.