Over the fall of each year our community supports those in need in a greater fashion than at any other time of the year. One of the byproducts of the holiday season is a refreshed awareness of and service to those in our community who might be struggling. Many feel a sense that they want to give back; to respond in gratitude for graces received in their own lives. The enriched support allows many charities to provide more than they normally could, particularly for those of us who provide food relief.
I’m often asked, ‘are there more hungry people this time of year?’ The short answer is no; we will have as many hungry people in our community on January 10th, April 22nd or August 3rd as we do this fall. But those of us who provide food will have a lot less support – of funds and volunteers – after the holidays are past. We understand this; it’s natural that we all return to our lives, the rush of the ‘season’ is over and we settle into our routines.
But, here’s the thing: our friends and neighbors who needed us over the fall will need us over the winter, through the spring and in the summer. I’m reminded of a sermon I heard where the priest offered up the idea that if your idea of church was something you did on Sunday mornings, you’d missed the point of the message. Love and service to others, so prevalent and wonderful in the fall, can be year-round. We at Feeding Tampa Bay will still be here, the folks who need our help will still be here – can we count on you to be here?