Caring for the Community – Part 1

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Winter evenings can be beautiful, but the nights are long and chilly...and sadly, many people are going through hard times.

Dear Readers,

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the holiday season.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, or are simply taking a breath now and then to feel the coolness of the air…I wish all of you well this holiday season.

In this season of reaching out, gift-giving, enjoying visits with family and friends, and community events, I would ask you not forget those in our community who are going through hard times, or who have fallen on hard times.  It may be easy to be distracted by the search for the perfect gifts, or by the latest parties and the social whirl…but when all is said and done, in these difficult economic times, if we have enough of what we need for ourselves and our families, we should take a page from Thanksgiving Day, and remember to be grateful.

There are a number of opportunities to reach out and help those in need–not just this holiday season, but year-round.  I’m reminded of an old “Peanuts” comic strip where Lucy says something to the effect that the holidays are the “one time each year” when people are nicer to each other.  Charlie Brown asks, “Why does it have to be one time a year? Why can’t people be nicer to each other all year long?”  Lucy responds: “What are you, some kind of fanatic or something?”  We laugh, but let’s remember that there are serious needs in our community all year long…and opportunities for us to reach out and help are there all year long, too.

Here’s one opportunity to help:

Sacramento Loaves & Fishes is a faith-based organization that seeks to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless, “providing an oasis of welcome, safety and cleanliness” for homeless men, women and children.  It relies solely on private donations, and accepts no government funds.  In addition to feeding and sheltering the homeless, it provides a range of services, from a school for homeless children (the Mustard Seed school), to mental health counseling (the Genesis project), to other programs.

Loaves and Fishes is currently preparing its annual Christmas Meal for the Homeless.  They are planning to serve a hot meal and give out Christmas stockings to over 1,000 homeless people this year.

They need:

Cooked or smoked hams; cooked or smoked turkeys; baked pies (assorted kinds); whipped cream (aerosol cans); apple juice (gallon size); cranberry sauce (large cans); clove seasoning; marshmallows; yams; Karo syrup; macaroni noodles; cheese (sharp cheddar, Swiss, and mozzarella); pineapples (canned, sliced); mustard greens; ice cream (vanilla); peaches (large cans); Bisquick mix; dinner rolls (white and wheat).

If you wish to donate for the Christmas meal, please deliver to the Loaves and Fishes warehouse at 1400 North C Street by December 24.  The warehouse is accepting deliveries at the following times:

Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 19-20,  8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday – Thursday, Dec. 21-24, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about donating for the Christmas meal, or about Sacramento Loaves and Fishes, its programs and year-round volunteer and donation opportunities, please call (916) 446-0874, or e-mail info@sacloaves.org; or check out their website: www.sacloaves.org.

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