Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

November 25, 2014 at 9:39am

Free Thanksgiving: Now that's a home-cooked meal

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I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of a Big Man on Campus back in the day. Mostly I'm admitting I was overweight, though I did have my successes. Still, the achievements I look back on with the greatest pride were all shared: lifelong friendships, plays I directed or costarred in, and my participation in a campus philanthropic society. Each year, our "Sigma Society" along with dozens of other charitably-minded Oklahomans came together to provide our community much-needed Thanksgiving feasts free of charge. Thousands of less-fortunate citizens would queue up for holiday turkey, mashed potatoes, desserts-all the comforting, crave-able classics they couldn't afford to prepare for their own families. I grew up poor myself, so I know what it's like to have nothing in the fridge or depend on government assistance. Believe me, it's not the glorious free ride it's made out to be. Not to put too fine a point on it, being poor sucks. That's why I place enormous value in highlighting grassroots efforts to brighten the lives of struggling South Sounders in these darkest of late-autumn days.

For 45 years now, the late Barb O'Neill and her loved ones have been providing holiday meals along with seasonal clothing and other food and gift donations. What started as an invitation to neighbors has impacted the lives of thousands of Olympians. This is a great group of people, and you can be one of "Barb's Family and Friends" as well. A member of the organization was recently stopped on the street by a person who benefited from O'Neill's generosity years ago, during years when that person was homeless. Now she and her grown daughter are back on their feet, and they want to help pass the favor on to somebody else. It's called paying it forward, people, doing unto others as the best among us have done for us.

As it does every other day of the year, Tacoma's Rescue Mission serves warm, healthy meals to people who are homeless or otherwise underprivileged. Last Thanksgiving Day alone, the mission served over 1100 meals. It's currently accepting donations of money and food items for Thursday's feast; check out https://www.rescue-mission.org/thanksgiving to see how you can lend a hand...or a ham. Gifts of turkeys and hams are always appreciated, as are volunteer hours, especially between now and Christmas. Thankfulness is a beautiful thing, as this holiday serves to remind us, but giving back when things get better might be an even more sacred obligation.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Let's make sure this is a happy occasion for everyone around us as well.

BARB'S 45TH ANNUAL FREE THANKSGIVING DINNER, noon - 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 26, United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, free, 360.485.9931

GOOD NEIGHBOR CAFE, 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 27, Rescue Mission Downtown Campus, 425 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, free, 253.383.4493

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About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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