Thanks. Oprah. Turkeys. And More Thanks.
Every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving the scene is always the same in my kitchen: a 20 lb. turkey roasts in the oven for delivery to a community center three blocks from us that serves a warm holiday meal to hundreds of homeless and low income New Yorkers.
My kids take part in every step—selecting the bird, seasoning it to perfection, watching for the little white thing to pop, and walking it down the street for drop off.
This year—after watching Friday’s extravagant ‘Favorite Things’ gift giveaways on Oprah—our family decided to do something completely different. The inspiration initially came a couple weeks ago when a segment on World News with Diane Sawyer revealed a shortage in turkey donations across the country. The need among families has grown, but the freezers at food pantries, soup kitchens and churches are far from full.
For much less than the cost of just one Philip Stein watch hand-set with 58 diamonds—among the first gifts given to Oprah’s crowd—my kids figured we could buy at least 50 turkeys.
They hit the phones, seeking donations from family and friends. In less than an hour, Jake and Emma had pledges of just over $1,000—more than enough for us to get going to the grocery store.
We bought 50 birds, each ranging between 20 and 25 lbs. “More than a half ton of turkey,” my son proudly said. They’ll be distributed to five shelters this morning, all within a mile of our home in the city.
Believe it or not, the excitement in our house is even greater than what came through the TV screen on Friday from Oprah’s adoring audience. (Of course, everyone in my office—including me—would have killed for a seat in that studio to be lavished with such luxury!) But for us “’tis better to give than receive” has never felt better than right now.
So on this Thanksgiving holiday, allow me to thank YOU—for being here, for attending our events, for participating in our programs, for dialing into our calls, for chatting with us on Facebook and Twitter, and so much more. You inspire us to hustle each and every day in all that we do.
If you can help someone else this Thanksgiving week—by donating a turkey, baking for a friend who’s down, inviting others to join your family feast, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or checking in on someone who’s alone on this holiday—you’ll feel like a million bucks. Guaranteed.
Feel free to share your best deeds for the week here.
Thanks, and have a wonderful—and safe—Thanksgiving.