I have to admit – of all the holidays on our calendar, Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. It is a time to gather with family and friends, and it is a time to give thanks for all the good things that have happened to us this year. And the remarkable acts of generosity that happen during this time of the year remind all of us that there are still people out there that are trying to do the right thing and to be lights in their communities. But of course all is not well in America this Thanksgiving. As I write about so often on The Economic Collapse Blog, poverty is growing, close to 50 million Americans are struggling with hunger, and the number of people sleeping in homeless shelters in New York City just hit an all-time record high. Sadly, even with such great need all around us, Americans continue to be some of the most wasteful people on the entire planet. In fact, one newly released report says that Americans will throw away 200 million pounds of turkey this Thanksgiving alone…
Americans throw away roughly $165 billion in uneaten food every year, according to government data. And about $293 million of that waste will happen during Thanksgiving — and that’s just for turkey alone.
Although sales of whole turkeys for Thanksgiving have dipped a bit in recent years, consumers are still expected to throw away about 200 million pounds of turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit organization based in New York.
“At a time when one in eight Americans go hungry, taking steps to reduce food waste is even more critical,” said a spokeswoman for the NRDC in a news release.
How could we be so wasteful?
When you break it down, 200 million pounds of turkey comes to about two-thirds of a pound of turkey for every man, woman and child in America.
And Thanksgiving is also a time when millions of Americans are eager to hit the bottle. On the night before Thanksgiving, demand for alcoholic beverages was so great in Pennsylvania that it actually crashed liquor store credit card systems…
Credit card systems are back up and running at Pennsylvania liquor stores after they were down statewide for a time the night before Thanksgiving.
The credit card system at Wine and Spirit stores statewide went down Wednesday afternoon, CBS 3’s Greg Argos reports.
At the state-run Fine Wine and Good Spirits store near 20th and Market in Center City, the line wrapped around the store.
Perhaps even worse is what happens following Thanksgiving. Our “Black Friday” orgy of greed and materialism has become a massive joke to the rest of the world, but we don’t seem to care. As long as we can fill up our shopping carts with lots of cheaply-made foreign products at super-discounted prices we are happy. For much more on the disgrace that the Black Friday phenomenon has become, please see my recent article entitled “Instead Of Black Friday Materialism, Thanksgiving Weekend Should Be A Time To Live, Laugh And Love“.
With all that being said, there is also so much good happening around the country on this holiday as well.
All over America people are devoting time, money and energy to make sure that struggling families have something to eat on Thanksgiving. If you can believe it, even someone like Snoop Dogg is helping to give away thousands of Thanksgiving meals to families in need…
With Thanksgiving just days away, rapper and actor Snoop Dogg joined Inglewood city officials and Rams players on Monday to make the holiday a little brighter for families in need.
For the third year in a row, Snoop Dogg, who is from Long Beach, partnered with Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts and other city officials to give away thousands of Thanksgiving meals.
Many that are reading this article may be wondering why I am praising someone like Snoop Dogg, and without a doubt his music contains an incredible amount of offensive material, but in this case he is doing the right thing.
No matter who it is, when someone chooses to do great acts of love and compassion that individual deserves to be praised.
And you never know – when we praise someone for doing right, that person may ultimately decide that the path of righteousness is better than the path that they have chosen up to this point.
We should be in the “restoration business”, and there is nobody that is so far gone that they are completely out of reach.
Throughout our history, there has always been something about this time of the year that has brought out the best in people. The following is a short excerpt from an absolutely outstanding article that was written for Charisma News by Dr. Eddie Hyatt…
The Pilgrims who landed on Cape Cod in November 1620 were devout followers of Christ who had left the comforts of home, family and friends to pursue their vision of a renewed and reformed Christianity. Although facing insurmountable challenges and much suffering, they maintained an attitude of gratitude through every trial.
They were a thankful people. They never wavered in their faith even during their first winter in the New World (1620-21) when sickness ravaged their community and half of them, about 50 in number, were taken away in death.
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims the following fall of 1621 after they had gathered in their fall harvest. Although their hearts were still heavy from the losses suffered the previous winter, there were at least three areas for which they felt particularly grateful to God.
And the spirit of that first Thanksgiving continues to live on today. Earlier this month, a farmer named Steve Wollyung had 112 acres remaining to be harvested when the unthinkable happened. But when tragedy struck, his entire community rallied around him and his family in a way that could definitely be regarded as miraculous…
His 4-year-old granddaughter Ayla was playing in a grain wagon when she became trapped in the wagon. First responders removed Ayla from the grain wagon, and she was airlifted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she later died from her injuries.
Tara Henry, a longtime friend of the Wollyung family, heard about the farming accident the next day. She called up Steve’s wife Carmen and asked if they were done harvesting, and Carmen told her they still had over 100 acres to finish and they weren’t sure how they were going to get it all done.
Henry called a few farmers who were done harvesting and asked if they would be willing to help. Word spread quickly and pretty soon more than 60 people from several counties contacted Henry about donating their time and equipment to help the Wollyung family.
In the end, the remaining 112 acres were harvested on a single day. In fact, all 18,463 bushels were brought in by about 5 PM.
That is the kind of good news that I get excited about, and it shows that love is not totally dead in America.
Yes, things are often very bleak in our country today, but let us never forget that light overcomes the darkness.
Just when you think that there is no hope, a little bit of love can change everything.
I would encourage you to think about how you can use the power of love to make a difference to those around you during this very special time of the year.
By Michael Snyder