January 8, 2014


By Tina E.

Well, how about that: the holidays have passed once again, and after all the rich foods and drinks shared between family and friends, I resign myself to facing a season-typical struggle in the aftermath: I have gained a little weight and I need to lose it fast! I’m kept on a stricter regimen weight-wise by the man I adore these days and I really don’t want to disappoint him. I think staying healthy and looking your best for the man in your life is essential, but he gives me the extra incentive I need to get back on track!

It’s not always easy, dragging yourself to the gym or making time for a power walk. It’s not particularly fun denying myself the awakened taste for all those rich foods I made and conspired to consume over the holidays, either, but as I groan a little under my breath while putting on the sneakers after the holidays have passed, I almost always find myself reflecting upon the poor, the hungry, and the needy. It’s then I stop and consider how absolutely ludicrous my dilemma is. I realize that for someone who has a problem like mine, life is pretty darn good, in fact. My struggle with losing some extra pounds is nothing, really, compared to those who would love to be in a similar predicament. I realize that having some extra pounds while living in a place that, for many, could be considered a suburban paradise is a sign of comfort and security. I realize that I am one of the lucky ones, in more ways than one.

It’s not that I’m alone in such thoughts over the holidays. From Thanksgiving onward, people send tons of canned goods and money donations to their local shelters while getting into the holiday mood and dutifully reflecting upon the less fortunate. But what happens after New Years? The truth is, most shelters and soup kitchens see a marked drop in donations and support, and that’s just sad. Many such places are all set during the holidays, but for the rest of the year, they are in need of donations, helping hands, and financial support.

Please keep the hungry and less fortunate in your thoughts in the coming year and send donations to your local shelters and soup kitchens, if you can. Ten dollars here, twenty dollars there (these organizations have access to food at fractions of the price you find in supermarkets), a shirt you don’t want any more or those cans of soup in the cupboards that you probably won’t eat…it all can go so far and help so many people in need. But before you give, find out more about the charities you’d like to support. Be certain they use the resources you provide for charitable purposes that support the mission to truly help the hungry and dispossessed. I have provided some links below to some good organizations as just a start, but finding local shelters, kitchens, and food banks in your area is always a great way to make a difference in your own neck of the woods.