With great apologies for the delay in this backblast, here is a followup to our Thanksgiving meal drive. The PAX were truly inspiring in reaching out. We are all called to serve, and can do so in many different ways.
Immediate thanks to Figaro for the turkey donations, along with the 20 men who did not hesitate and within 3 days quickly donated to the cause… and whom most have chosen to remain anonymous. Special thanks to Cable Guy, Frat Boy and Crab Cakes for helping with delivery. More details further below. And additional thanks to Crab Cakes and M Kara for followup support to one of our families!
Many of us don’t truly realize the experiences of the poor and needy until we are able to observe in real life. Most of stay in our one station in life, but it can be a privilege to experience others’ stations. (see next full story, try to get through it all)
One of the most meaningful and deep scenes in a movie I have watched comes from one of the silliest movies. In the movie “Overboard” with Goldie Hahn and Kurt Russell, Hahn’s female character (Joanna) plays a very stuck up, rich woman who falls overboard at night from her yacht while near WA (state). She gets amnesia. She is ‘claimed’ by Russell’s carpenter character (Dean) to ‘compensate’ for her refusal to pay him for his services performed by him in the days before.
Joanna ends up living a poor life with Russell and his 4 boys for about a month. She experiences things she would never had in her rich world. She learns humility living a life with little money. Eventually her memory returns and she returns to her yacht. But she no longer acts like the ‘debutante’ who her mother and privileged husband so want. They think something is wrong with her.
Later on board the yacht, Joanna has an interaction with her servant butler (Andrew) who has been taking care of her his whole life with no thanks for his efforts:
- Andrew: (Andrew hands Joanna her earrings after they’ve drank tequila shots below decks with the crew) You best not lose these again, madam.
- Joanna: (perplexed) Again?
- Andrew: You will forgive me, madam. (clearly mocking her) “Andrew! I seem to have lost my ruby earrings somewhere between 64th and 68th street, find them.”
- Joanna: (genuinely contrite) I’ve behaved so badly. (Andrew raises his eyebrows)
- Joanna: You’ve done all these wonderful things for me and I never even once said thank you. I’m sorry.
- Andrew: (embarrassed) Apology accepted, ma’am. (he turns away and to the sink)
- Joanna: (following him) Everyone on this boat thinks I’m crazy. Do you think they’re right?
- Andrew: (turning around to face her) Oh no, madam. Oh no. You… most of us go through life with blinders on. Knowing only that little station to which we were born. But you madam, have had the… rare privilege of escaping your bonds for just a spell. To see life from an entirely new perspective. How you choose to use that information is entirely up to you.
The movie ends up with a happy ending with Joanna returning to Dean and the boys.
It is up to all of us to decide how we use information we have at hand. If you are called to serve, how are you actually serving? Are you truly seeking to serve? Are you open to learning about others less fortunate than you? Even more so, are you willing to put yourself in an uncomfortable environment to learn firsthand?
Here is a quick synopsis of this year’s turkey meals donation. We had done turkey drives before, but some of the feedback we got was, not that it wasn’t appreciated, but that it was too much of a ‘giveaway.’ Best teach a man to fish, so to speak. But we’ve been in the Paradise community over 1 1/2 years now and we didn’t want to let Thanksgiving pass without some involvement. A plan was put together on Monday, announced to the PAX on Tuesday, enough donations received by Thursday, food bought on Friday and delivered on Saturday.
Thanks were in abundance from those receiving the meals. We had a few crying in appreciation. The names of the 10 neediest families were given to us by Kim Vinisette of SON Ministries who has been working in the community for years. F3 has a strong relationship with Kim. As we shared with the families, we asked them to also share to any others that could use food for the holiday.
We gave each family a nice presentation basket of initial food along with their turkey, an F3 flyer, a holiday card from F3 and a gift certificate of varying amounts (depending on family size) to buy additional food, ie. fresh food, dessert.
We arrived at the park Saturday afternoon and the PAX helped deliver.
Lessons learned include…planning to spend more on each family roughly in the $100 range, buying all the food necessary for a full meal, starting much earlier, getting other groups involved to help support the cause. Maybe next year we can increase the # of families.
I have some pictures but not at the ready. Will get posted here shortly. I want to get this BB out.
*** An additional good experience came from this endeavor. One of the families, a single mom with 3 girls, had next to no furniture in their apartment. Crab Cakes and his M Kara came through as we identified their needs and their rooms went from having nothing to being filled! Awesome job! We are now working on another similar situation. Will post that info soon!
Great thanks once again to the PAX.