Some Write It Hot

November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving – A Time for Unforgettable Giving by KevaD

Filed under: Who we are — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Today most of you will gather with family, ravage some poor defenseless turkey and watch obnoxious brother-in-laws, hands stuck in their waistbands, doze in your favorite chair.

I say “you” because my wife Virginia and I won’t be so engaged.

For more than a decade now we have spent each Thanksgiving and Christmas morning at the local Salvation Army along with dozens of other folks preparing meals for those without.

It’s the “without” part that caused me to write this.

We tend to think of the Salvation Army and other such agencies and churches as buffet lines on these two holidays. But so much more takes place behind the scenes with and for people you won’t ever meet.

Our purpose, our job, is to box meals to be delivered to shut-ins. The majority of those people are the forgotten. When the volunteers arrive to help deliver the meals, I make the route assignments, count the meals going into the boxes, ensure the right boxes go to the right drivers, and when the last order is filled, Virginia and I head out to a high rise where we distribute, on average, sixty dinners.

We, and the others like us across the country, do this for many reasons.

But the most compelling reason is the people we meet. They and their stories bring us back every year.

One such story is a man who never signed up for the meals and rarely spoke.

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas in the dining room where we set up, this quiet man would appear dressed in slacks, sport jacket, clean shirt and tie. His shoes, always freshly polished.

He would stand at the windows looking out to the parking lot until he tired and sat down.

The second year, my curiosity peaked, I asked a couple of residents about him.

Each holiday his family would tell him they were coming to get him and bring him to wherever the family was gathering that particular day. Each holiday no one ever arrived to take him there.

I offered him a slice of homemade pumpkin pie. He declined, saying he wanted to arrive at his family hungry so he could enjoy the full meal with them.

On Christmas I insisted. He sat and wolfed it down.

The next year we brought a meal for him. He refused, but readily accepted the slice of pie.

And on it went until last Christmas.

We arrived, set up, and distributed the meals. The residents gathered at the tables, ensuring each had sufficient silverware and a drink. Many said prayers together.

The man wasn’t at the window, nor did he appear before we packed up to leave.

I had to ask.

I asked some of his neighbors if his dream had finally come true.

“Yes,” came the response. “He passed away.”

Celebrate your holiday with loved ones. But if you have time, consider giving an hour or two to someone standing at the window.

Read more from KevaD


  1. David, my Mum used to be the on site carer in an old people’s sheltered housing project. I lived there for years and spending time with the residents at holiday time was very special. They were all very special guests at my wedding. You are doing a wonderful thing.

    Comment by Lillian Grant — November 25, 2010 @ 04:21 | Reply

  2. One more thing Lillian and I have in common I guess. When I was little my mom worked as a nurse in a nursing home. Before she went off her trolley, at least I hope it was. We always had our holiday meals with the “guests”. Even at the age of 8 or 9 I remember the expectant look on the faces of those people waiting for family who never came. To many I was the granddaughter they never got to see. It is a wonderful thing you do for them. A few years later. my holiday meal came from the Salvation Army. So thank you for that,too.

    Comment by Debbie Vaughan — November 25, 2010 @ 05:56 | Reply

  3. A TRULY WONDERFUL THING!! Stay the course Dave. God’s Got a Blessing With Your Name On IT!

    It’s coming.

    Comment by Cornelle — November 25, 2010 @ 05:58 | Reply

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Debbie Vaughan, lillian grant. lillian grant said: Thanksgiving – A Time for Unforgettable Giving by KevaD: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Thanksgiving – A Time for Unforgettable Giving by KevaD « Some Write It Hot -- — November 25, 2010 @ 06:42 | Reply

  5. The dinners served for our particular locale were down this year. It seemed odd to many of us considering our area sees unemployment rising and the job market decreasing. Naturally, we started asking questions.

    Several of the “regulars” who didn’t sign up or come in said they didn’t feel right eating the food when so many are without now. They wanted to make sure other folks had something to eat today, and so they skipped their Thanksgiving dinner.

    Those with nothing found a way to give.

    What can you say to that?

    Comment by KevaD — November 25, 2010 @ 12:51 | Reply

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