Giving for Thanksgiving and National Hunger and Homeless Week

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I received some press releases that were either too late for my deadline or not really food-related. However, they're worthy and some ways to give back this Thanksgiving.

This week (through Nov. 17) El Rio Foundation and COPE are seeking sweatshirts, hats, socks, gloves and other warm apparel in all sizes (including for children) plus sleeping bags and blankets to help keep the homeless warm. Please drop off clothing between today and Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the El Rio Broadway Clinic at 1101 E. Broadway Blvd. On Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a cookout in the parking lot to feed the hungry and homeless. To find out how you can get involved, call 624-7750.

According to the Tucson Planning Council for the Homeless, there are about 4,000 people who lack a permanent address, with about 40 percent women and children.

At Primavera Foundation, they need men's socks, coats, underwear, and canned goods, turkeys or hams. Please contact 623-5111, ext. 102 to donate.

More than six years ago, I moved to Tucson and had only lived here two months when I realized that I was going to be alone on Thanksgiving. I only knew two local people, but they were going to be out of town, and I was getting really depressed over it. So on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving I decided to volunteer somewhere serving or cooking a Thanksgiving meal. I must've called eight places, and nobody needed any volunteers—which further threw me into depression. The only organization that said I could help was to be a Salvation Army bell ringer outside of Walgreens. I thought that too lonely of a pursuit and passed.

In the end, a friend called from Los Angeles on Wednesday morning and said she wanted to drive to Tucson. I ran out to buy some Thanksgiving fixings to make. I guess the moral of the story is whether you're having a celebration or a simple meal, invite someone who might otherwise be alone.

The other moral of the story is don't wait until the day before to do your Thanksgiving shopping.

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