Giving Back for Thanksgiving in Virginia, 2011

The word “Thanksgiving” has come to be synonymous with “turkey dinner.” The name of this holiday conjures images of a cozy family meal, a well-furnished table of food and autumn décor, and perhaps even a blazing fire in the hearth. But in all of the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving preparations, the meaning becomes lost in the labor.

So focused are we on preparing that perfect, Norman Rockwell-worthy dinner that we often disregard those who are not fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving with family, friends, and an overabundance of food. We are surrounded by the homeless, the hungry, and the lonely, and how much of an impact on their lives would it make to invite them to our Thanksgiving meals? I can see the skepticism on your faces, and unfortunately, most will label the notion of extending an invitation to strangers as little more than an interesting idea.

But you’re not off the hook yet, because there are many other ways to support the less fortunate during this holiday season. How about the Central Virginia Food Bank? Or the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia? Or Feeding America: Southwest Virginia? One only has to do a quick Google search for “Virginia food banks” to see that there are so many establishments in the commonwealth in need of your assistance whether it be through donations of money or a few hours of your time.

And so, we here at the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving while encouraging you not only to appreciate all that you possess, but also to give back to the community in which you make your home.

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

(This blog entry was inspired by a young boy named John, who decided that for this Thanksgiving, he was going to collect food for those in need. Thank you, John, for your kind-heartedness and your inspiration.)

By Tara Stoll

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