28 Nov 2011 - Special Ways to Give Thanks

For more than three decades now it has been my personal mission starting on Thanksgiving Day to yes, give thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers for the bounty they provide for us the year around but also to remind me and you that not everybody sits down to a filled table on Thanksgiving Day. There are many people who struggle to feed themselves and so in addition to saying 'Thanks' and enjoying what we have, let’s turn our attention to helping those who are less fortunate.

It started for me more than 30 years ago with Heifer Project International. Today it is known as Heifer International, but that was the beginning. I continue to support that organization all of these years because I like what it does. It provides people with the means to feed themselves and restore their human dignity, here in the U.S. as well as dozens of foreign countries. People are provided with livestock , poultry or seed and once established, they "pass on the gift" and share with their neighbors. Every year they print "The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World" and you can find the catalog and more information at heifer.org. They continue to do great work.

Then I added to that organization the Foods Resource Bank, a ten-year-old organization that brings rural and urban churches together during the growing season. Urban church members provide the money to buy seed and other production inputs, and farmers in the rural church provide the land and labor to produce a crop. Proceeds from that crop are then used to fund projects to help farmers in Third World countries to feed their families and neighbors; again helping people help themselves. You will find more information at foodsresourcebank.org.

This year I am adding a third group for your consideration…AABB, All American Beef Battalion. It was established in 2007 and its goal is to support our troops fighting the war on terror and also promote American Beef. They accomplish the task by organizing and sponsoring Steak Feeds and entertainment programs, as well as meetings for service members and their families. Since 2007 the organization has served more than 100,000 steaks to our troops. That effort is still going strong. More information is available on their website steaksfortroops.com.

So, for that person on your list who has everything, why not support one of these agriculturally-related groups . . . heifer.org, foodsresourcebank.org and steaksfortroops.com. by giving a gift in that person’s name. Again, let’s help other people help themselves.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.