Remember a few weeks ago when I became an award winning chef?!? (I know, it is hard even for me to remember... Thankfully, Jeff put my Food Lion Frugal Cook-off trophy proudly on display in the kitchen to remind me while I'm
burning making grilled cheese.)
Well, as I mentioned in this post, part of my prize involved a $250.00 Food Lion gift card for myself and another one to give away. We do a lot of giveaways here and they are always super fun; but, this time, I really wanted to help someone that NEEDED the prize. As you know, I put a call out at the end of the post and ended up hearing from Carissa at the local branch of Feeding America - a nationwide network of food banks and other resources committed to ending hunger.
Feeding America Southwest Virginia serves 26 counties in my area and provides food to more than 147,000 people who are food insecure... As you might imagine, the holidays are particularly difficult for many and my $250 could go a long way towards helping make this Thanksgiving a little sweeter for them.
Jeff and I talked and, ultimately, we decided to send all $500.00 to Carissa. As it turned out, I actually got the original $100 gift card for participating too and - let's be honest - that is ALL I expected to get. Sure, we could use the $250, but we didn't need it.
So.... Thanksgiving Turkeys for everyone!!!
This morning, I received the following from Carissa:
Thank you, truly, for your gift! We have a program in Abingdon called the “Harvest Home Kitchen” that will be preparing dinners to go ON Thanksgiving Day—we have volunteers who donate their time to provide for over 300 families who would otherwise go hungry on this day of plenty for so many others. Your gift will directly impact these people, and bring a little joy to the lives of so many who are struggling to get by. We will be able to purchase enough turkeys to serve the people we expect, as well as plenty of sides and fixin’s to make a wholesome and nutritious dinner for them.
She also shared with me the story of sweet Elizabeth, a widowed grandmother who has taken in her three young grandsons on no income beyond a small pension and received meals from the Feeding America Soup Kitchen in Abington regularly. This money doesn't just go to a pie in the sky --- it is putting a Thanksgiving meal on the table for Elizabeth, her family, and hundreds of other like her.
I'm sharing this today because I know there is a lot of talk in the internet world about bloggers receiving compensation for things, about sponsored posts, and people being "sell outs." Those things are - sadly - sometimes the reality. BUT, there is another side to that coin too...
I am thankful for Food Lion and the chance to participate in such a fun event and win a great prize. I am thankful for Feeding America and the work they are doing to care for those in need all over the country. I am thankful that I have the luxuries of a warm home and too much food this Thanksgiving. And, I am thankful for this community - for continuing to provide a small space for me to share my life and, hopefully, make a small difference.
Stay warm and get your confessions ready for tomorrow!!!