Many of you know Jill Smokler, a.k.a. Scary Mommy. If you don’t, head over to her blog and Scary Mommy Nation. She’s a mom, a mover and a shaker, and with her large, loyal following, she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s a woman to watch.
Jill means serious business. Especially when it comes to her annual Thanksgiving Project.
See those numbers? They make me yell BOOYAH and dance. I donated to Jill’s Thanksgiving Project via Paypal — easy. It felt so good (except that Paypal IS NOT helping Jill or these families out with their fees, which is unfortunate). After reading Jennifer Ball (The Happy Hausfrau) ‘s post, “Those People,” on Jill’s blog, I made a conscious decision to donate healthier food to local food pantries. Organic food. Even kosher and gluten-free food. Lots of things from my local Trader Joe’s on Ward Parkway.
CONFESSION: before reading Jennifer’s piece (which is scheduled to appear soon in Family Circle magazine! plus she’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post), I was likely to donate whatever was in my own pantry, and/or things I found cheap and on sale. Generic brands. Nothing super fancy for the most part.
That, my friends, is the hard, ugly truth. It’s embarrassing to admit it. But I know I’m not alone, because I’ve seen what’s in those Harvester’s bins at grocery stores around town.
Giving lots of food was good, but I wasn’t thinking; my own head was so far up my ass that I wasn’t putting myself in someone else’s shoes. Bottom line: I figured donating some food was better than donating no food. Yes, I gave canned fruit & veggies, pasta, peanut butter. But I didn’t consider fancy stuff, organic items, and things for those who have Celiac, or those who keep kosher. More hard, ugly truths.
I wasn’t thinking.
So now? I’m making up for lost time and teaching my daughters about the importance of donating, helping those in need, and reminding them that there are always hungry people who don’t have what we have.
And let’s not forget the quinoa.
I donated LOTS of fancy quinoa to the twins’ school’s food drive! Plus organic & kosher cereal, organic peanut butter, tuna, canned artichoke hearts, organic tomato soup, ravioli, organic ketchup and mustard…
And our girls helped pack up the bags. They schlepped things to school every day this week, and there was a contest to see which class could bring in the most food.
I don’t know who won. Neither do they.
But that’s not the point.
The point is they’re not too young to learn that they can help other people. That we should always help other people. And that we should help them in the way(s) we wish WE WOULD BE HELPED. Which means we’d want some healthy options on the shelves to choose from, not Kraft Easy Mac 24/7.
If we ever have to visit our local food pantry like Jennifer had to do, I sure hope we’ll find things like we just brought.
Finally, thanks to Queen Latifah for having Jill on her show yesterday, and for donating hundreds of turkeys! Watch the clip:
YOU CAN STILL HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
Donate now. If you can’t donate, help spread the word. Go over to Jill’s site and share her current Thanksgiving Project update status on your Facebook wall. Tell a friend or twelve. Blog about it. Spread the word far and wide.
Be good to others. And teach your kids along the way, let them watch what you do. Encourage a discussion about it, plant little seeds in those little minds and let them grow.
And remember: it’s never to late to learn. I’m still learning every day.