Yes, you’d love to give more, but what can you do on such a tight budget? The answer: always keep others in mind. Use coupons and set aside the savings until you have, say, $20 to donate to a charity. Recycle often, keeping the money in a baggie in your purse—and give what you have to the next homeless person you meet. Watch for good 2-for-1 sales and donate that second box of cereal or sack of flour to a food bank, the food collection at your place of worship, or a family you know who needs it.
If you go to garage sales, pick up clothing and household items in good condition to give to a shelter for battered women or an organization helping disaster victims. Cashing in on a great sale on yarn? Get extra and make items for layette programs sponsored by many churches. We don’t need to be rich to make a difference; we just need to watch for opportunities to help make life better for others.
A fellow parishioner decided when her kids were very young that they needed to learn charity. She taught them to give something to every person who asked. Each time that they were approached by the disabled vet outside the drug store, the homeless man on the street, the uniformed woman from the food-providing agency, the Salvation Army man with the Christmas kettle—anyone asking for help or for their aid in helping others—they would give a little something. I asked, “What if the person’s a fake or will spend the dollar on alcohol or drugs?” Her answer was another question: “What if they really do spend it on food for themselves or their family?” This woman was teaching her children an important fact. That is, it’s our job to be charitable; it’s God’s job to decide who He sends our way and why.
a very simple act that we can all perform each day: offer up the “Thanksgiving
Prayer.” Not just at Thanksgiving, but
all year long. Because prayer transforms
us, allowing God to transform the world through us.
Oh, God, when I have food, help me to remember the
When I have work, help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home, help me to remember the
When I am without pain, help me to remember those
And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency
Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed,
For health and safety, you read dates on food you buy and eat. Trouble is, “sell by,” best buy,” “expiration date” all mean different things. And nobody is clarifying the difference for us. Actually, most date-labels don’t mean that the food is bad, unhealthy, or dangerous to eat as of that date. The FDA is working on a clear, uniform system, but it will take time. Meanwhile, AARP offers some sound advice–use your senses.
Here’s an idea: have an Immigrant Party and invite your immigrant friends. Don’t have any? Sure you do. All of our kinfolk came from somewhere other than the U.S. Ask your guests to come ready to share their family history—why they came to the U.S., where they landed, what type of community they lived in here, the support system they had (church? neighbors from the same part of the world?), languages spoken at home, hardships they encountered here, what they went through to gain citizenship. Maybe each guest could bring pictures of people, places, and documents, as well as a family keepsake that reminds them of those times. You might even want to ask people to bring food to share from one of the cultures each guest represents.
Spend the evening sharing your food and your stories. By the end of the night it will be very clear why you are all friends—because we’ve been given the oceans not as an obstacle to divide us but as a path to bring us together.
A couple of senators got together and came up with an idea that can actually unite rather than divide us–Solution Sunday. It involves food, conversation, and a diverse group of people. It’s even something we can all do. Take a look at this video:
It’s the term the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has settled on for food labels that will indicate the presence of genetically modified organisms or GMOs in our food. In a final rule published earlier this month, the Agricultural Marketing Service arm of the USDA spelled out the new national mandatory food disclosure standard for bioengineered or BE foods.
It will require “food manufacturers, importers, and other entities that label foods for retail sale to disclose information about BE food and BE food ingredients. This rule is intended to provide…. [Continue to rest of article.]