I live in a part of California that rarely gets too cold. Even in the evenings. Even in winter! But I'm sure it would feel so much colder if I had to be outside all night.
Last night, my family had some friends at our house in the evening. While we invited everyone over so the adults could hang out and our children could play together, we also ate dinner. But for all of us, dinner was going to happen whether we ate it here, at a restaurant, or in our separate homes.
With the holidays approaching, I try to take extra time to notice all that I have to be thankful for. It becomes even more obvious when I read letters from groups seeking donations, which arrive much more frequently this time of year.
So now I'm looking at the websites for some of these organizations. What they do is beautiful. It's necessary. I'm thankful these groups are out there even if my family never needs to use them. I'm thankful they're there because "never needs to use them" is never guaranteed. So why am I telling you? It isn't that I don't think you already know about these groups. You may already donate to them or volunteer your time with them. I've helped some of these groups myself. But for some reason, it's giving me a lot of joy right now to learn even more about them. If reading this prompts you to research similar groups in your area, and then you feel some of what I'm feeling right now, that'd make me even happier!
And yes, as I learn more about what these groups provide, it's making me want to help more. It's making me want to be even more thankful.
Here are some of the places I've been learning about:
Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County
The People's Kitchen of San Luis Obispo
Prado Day Center
Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter