Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let's Get Physical

I’m no saint. But one of the good deeds I do every month, usually, like today, on the first Wednesday of the month, is go to Costco, not just to shop for myself but also to buy $100 worth of groceries for the local food bank. There is intense satisfaction the next day when I drop off the two or three boxes of canned, packaged or bottled food (the food bank doesn’t accept perishables) at the collection point. Donations are accepted Thursday and Friday mornings.

I’m not seeking accolades by telling you this. I would have preferred my gifts to remain anonymous, as I remain when I deliver each monthly donation despite requests that I sign in. I’m telling you this because I hope to inspire you to do more than simply write a check. Keep writing those checks, but add on some personal, physical involvement. Once a month, at least, buy some extra food for the food bank. You’re already in the store. It won’t be too great a sacrifice to drop the food off at your local food bank.

Last week most Americans sat down at tables groaning under excessive food. We gave thanks, ate and then sat down to watch football or plan an assault on a retail store.

But in our nation of 300-plus million, 49 million go hungry every day. One in three of the hungry are children. Every society is judged by how it treats its less fortunate. Government programs such as food stamps are not enough to relieve the need. Individual action may not be enough either, but your personal involvement will not only nourish the needy, it also will nourish your soul if you do something concrete and physical to help those who don’t enjoy all the material wealth you do.

Physical action, not just checkbook charity.