Opinion | Susan Knopf: Thanksgiving to go, and other blessings | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Thanksgiving to go, and other blessings

For the record, we’ve already raised about $50,000. More than 800 people have signed up for Thanksgiving to go. That’s about 200 more than last year.

The Summit Colorado Interfaith Council, along with local congregations and nonprofits provides grocery store gift cards to those who need help this holiday. Full disclosure, I’m on the council’s board. We have also gotten help from Safeway, City Market and The Summit Foundation.

If just 150 people give a $100, or 750 people give $20, we’ll make our goal. No amount is too small, or too big. Go to the Summit Colorado Interfaith Council’s website to do your part: SummitCOInterfaith.wildapricot.org/donate.

You might be surprised who is food insecure. It may be co-worker or a neighbor. It’s expensive to live and work here. It’s hard to make ends meet.

Nancy Higuera runs the food market for the Family Intercultural Resource Center. The resource center serves about 300 families in a great system that offers dignity and healthy food choices.

She tells me typically someone who qualified for the Thanksgiving to go grocery gift card, works in housekeeping for a resort. He or she probably shares an apartment with several other families, and probably some single men sleep in the living room. The men often work in restaurants or in construction.

It’s hard, and they work hard. They are the wheels that make our economy work. You need a housekeeper to rent a hotel room.

Higuera says there are also some J-1 visa foreign workers who qualified for the Thanksgiving to go gift cards.

Smart Bellies cofounder Margaret Sheehe is glad to see Colorado Proposition FF, the nutritious lunch program, passed. She knows well-fed kids do better in school. She says Thanksgiving to go is one program that provides more stability in our community.

Gift card recipients have been referred by WIC, Youth and Family Services, Victim Advocates, day services at Lord of the Mountains and St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Father Dyer United Methodist Church community dinner and pantry, Smart Bellies, Family Intercultural Resource Center, and the Senior Center.

Family Intercultural Resource Center Executive Director Brianne Snow says, “This program really helps to engage one another across community lines.”

Event chair Cathy Gadomski told me, “We have amazing nonprofits and government agencies in our county. Every day they are addressing the needs of the hard working people in Summit County. We owe such a debt to these individuals who are truly serving the public. Thanksgiving to go is as much about supporting the agencies as it is supporting individuals and families. ‘The generous themselves be blessed,’ Proverbs 22:9”

On Nov. 24, Father Dyer church in Breckenridge will serve Thanksgiving dinners from noon to 3 p.m., and 3-6 p.m. Summit Rotary will serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Silverthorne Pavilion.

After you thought of those who struggle to find a place to sit at the bountiful table, you may want to find ways to restore your own spirits.

Leon Joseph Littlebird will play his Native flute, and give the message at the Interfaith Council’s Thanksgiving Service. His message will be: “Giving Thanks in Perilous Times.”

Littlebird wrote, “In times of uncertainty it can be difficult to find a true sense of gratefulness to celebrate. Gathering to recognize and honor diversity in faiths and beliefs is something we, in our community can be very grateful for.”

The Summit Colorado Interfaith Council agrees. The fourth annual service will also feature the Rocky Mountain Brass Quintet, an interfaith choir, and the combined bell choirs of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church and Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church, as well as piano and organ music.

Jim Luellen has organized this spiritually diverse and musically rich gift for our souls. He says, “This community event provides an opportunity for everyone to come together to celebrate the blessings we have here in Summit County.” The service will be at 3 p.m. Nov. 13, at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church, located at 56 U.S. Highway 6 in Dillon. This is the first time the service will be open to the public since the pandemic. If you can’t make it, the service will be live streamed and available in archives at LordOfTheMountains.org/worship/live-streaming.html

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