By the time you're reading this, you'll most likely be recovering from the excesses of way too much tryptophan-filled turkey, whipped potatoes and cranberry relish. Add to that chunks of pumpkin pie drowned in whipped cream and you were destined for a big snooze in front of the TV, watching your favorite football game.
Yes, it was a good day for many of us who were fortunate enough to be able to afford a feast fit for a king. But now it's time to move on to the business of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
Of course, the "business" of at least Christmas started as many "celebrated" Christmas in July on the 25th with QVC and HSN shopping sprees. Next we moved on to September when, without ceremony, the local Walmart traded gardening tools for Christmas decorations in its home and garden department. How glad I was to see the blow-up lawn ornaments on Sept. 15. They were just what I wanted to offset the many bags of leaves on my front lawn.
Lest I go off on a rant, let me get to the heart of the matter: There are way too many people who didn't have the luxury of such a Thanksgiving feast of their own, nor can they go out and shop 'til they drop.
This holiday season, there are many wonderful organizations that will try to fill the gap for those who are in need due to circumstances beyond their control.
In Warren, we know we can count on the Warren Family Mission, which meets physical, emotional and spiritual needs by offering shelter, food, counseling and individual training to bridge the gap when life seems to fail. And at Christmastime, even Santa drops by to visit the kids.
The Salvation Army has long been providing meals, toys, clothing and Christian tenderness in the community.
Cortland Area Cares runs a food pantry that is a cooperative effort of a group of seven churches involved with Lakeview Outreach and Fellowship. While LOAF takes care of other local needs and worldwide outreach, Cortland Area Cares is the primary food pantry in the community.
Second Harvest Foodbank not only provides food to families, but has also started the Back Pack program that exists in Campbell, Struthers, two Warren schools and at the Niles intermediate school. Backpacks are filled with nutritious foods and given out on Fridays to at-risk kids who might not otherwise have meals during the weekend. They return the backpacks for refills.
Also stepping up are individual churches that sponsor Angel Trees. These trees wear paper angels representing children of prison inmates. Gifts are purchased and given on behalf of the incarcerated parent, so their children are not forgotten.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society prepares numerous meals for those who might otherwise go without. Members of local Catholic churches come to prepare, then serve, the food with a smile and warmth that penetrates places that food can't touch. This is a program that is also year round, not just during the holidays.
Now, here's the punch line: None of these great organizations do what they do on their own. Every one of them depends on the generosity of people just like you, who are fortunate enough to have just consumed the same quantity of food on Thanksgiving that others might have eaten for a week.
I'm not telling you who to help. But I am asking you to at least help someone. Whether you help through one of these worthy organizations or on your own doesn't matter. Pick someone you see on the street, or in a grocery store who doesn't have quite enough money for everything they need, or some kid you catch looking longingly at the new Elmo or eyeing a juicy hamburger at Burger King. It doesn't matter who, how much or where you do it. Just please, pick someone and help them. You'll make their day and you'll make your own day, too. It may feel so good, you'll want to do it all year long!
Let me hear who and how you help. I'll be waiting.
Jagunic is a Cortland resident. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.