Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Message

I used to work for a large social-service agency in Chicago that also operated a homeless shelter. And every year about this time, we'd get hundreds of calls to the volunteer center from do-gooders wanting to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the residents in the shelter.

We got so many calls on the day before Thanksgiving that several of us had to drop what we were doing just to answer calls in the volunteer center.

I remember one woman wanted to help and when I told her that she could help stock groceries in the pantry, she got upset. She wanted to work with the homeless, serving them food and smiling at them. Other people wanted to bring their children to "help those less fortunate."

I really wanted to tell them all that the residents weren't in a zoo to be on display for their edification.

Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was the same. We would just be inundated with help. The parking lot would be filled to capacity with SUVs. It was a huge pain in the butt, let me tell you.

Here's a message: If you want to help the homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, stay home! Especially all you presidential candidates.

If you really want to help, then volunteer in February when it's 20 below zero and help unload the produce truck at six in the morning.

Otherwise, stay home and enjoy the football game on your big-screen TV.

. . . I'll return now to my usual postings of humor and frivolity.

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