Thanksgiving is among the most wonderful times of the year for all of us. Family, gluttony, and being thankful for all that we have.
What if all that you have you can carry on your back? Are you still thankful?
Spending Thanksgiving on the streets was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. At least a couple times a week Someone will pull up to the Portland Rescue Mission and hand out food, but over the last few days there has been so much giving that I heard a man say, "This seems more like Christmas than Thanksgiving!" And he was right. The streets were filled with blankets, all kinds of winter clothes, gloves, hats, and more food than anyone can handle. I've had four Thanksgiving meals in the last two days, and I'll most likely be having at least one more.
Among the people giving, was Portland's Tzu Chi Buhddists from Taiwan. They opened their doors at 10:30 in the morning and gave warmth and a lot of winter necessities to anyone that would come. They have a great history of charitable donating starting about 50 years ago when 35 women decided to save 50 cents a day to give to people in need. As their numbers grew, so did the amount they were able to give. They provided us with new and used clothing, blankets made from recycled plasic bottles, scarfs, gloves, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, coats, ponchos, tarps, new back packs, and a lot of other things. They're work and sacrifice is greatly appreciated by everyone.
I was asked to say what I'm thankful for yesterday. It's one of those traditions that I'm not too excited about every year, but this year I decided to go along with it. I have a lot to be thankful for, I was able to make some money so I can continue down the road, I'm thankful for everything that was given to me yesterday, for the friends I've made since leaving, and for those I left behind. I'm thankful for my family for the loving support they give me, even though many of them just might wonder about my sanity. And to finish it up, if you're reading this, I'm especially thankful for you!