Thank you for giving to our children, youth and families

As I have for several years, I head to the Northeast to spend Thanksgiving visiting with family and friends. On the night before I was leaving, I saw a convoy of SUVs make its way onto the campus. Volunteers from the National Charity League were dropping off Thanksgiving food items to be assembled and distributed to hundreds of the families we served in the community. It is a gargantuan task, especially since our outreach has been extended to all those served through Bienvenidos. It was a great reminder to me of how generous our community is and how important such thoughtfulness is as we prepare to support all those we serve throughout the holiday season.

Through such generosity, we offer a statement to all who we serve that they are not alone, they are valued and they have reason to hope even as they confront challenges. Gifts of food at Thanksgiving or presents during the holidays are much appreciated, but more importantly these gestures touch the hearts and lives with the gratuitous kindness that only a stranger can offer. Such nonreciprocal care has the potential to ease anxiety, lift burdensome challenges and effectively engender hope. I’ve seen it brighten a child’s day and ease a parent’s worried demeanor. It is the kind of expression that truly makes a difference and creates a lasting impact.

7The needs are great as we take on the task of making the holiday season memorable for all those we serve. Our efforts would not be possible but for the generosity we have historically received from our donor community. Once again we ask you as you celebrate this festive season to remember those far less fortunate. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 29, is #GivingTuesday, a national movement to give back as an anecdote to the commercialism of the season. This #GivingTuesday, we are asking for your help to feed 60 hungry families over the holidays. Without us, they would go hungry over the school break because these families depend on the school-supplied free breakfasts and lunches. Our goal is to provide each family with $100 in grocery scrip. To donate, please visit:

As we gather with family and friends this week, let us be grateful not only for what we enjoy but also for the opportunity to share what we have in order to make a difference for those whose needs are great. For your generous and sustained support, on behalf of all we serve, thank you!

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