To the editor:
Thank you, Southwest Florida!
Many of you, like me, were probably not born in Southwest Florida, but came here at a later stage in your lives. Some would wonder about the sense of community that can be formed by such a hodgepodge of native Floridians, migrs from the Midwest, the Northeast, other communities and other countries. Yet, I am continually impressed by the way our community joins together to help children and families in need, especially during the holiday season.
This Thanksgiving, the Harry Chapin Food Bank provided 12,000 turkeys and chickens to our neighbors in need through our partner agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The "birds" were accompanied by many of the traditional trimmings: potatoes, green beans, squash, baked goods and more.
More than once, we saw the amazement of children and their parents -- by the food they received. Two boys at a distribution were so thrilled with the bounty their family received that they said, "Yay! We get Thanksgiving!"
The roster of individuals, companies and community organizations that made Thanksgiving possible for these two boys and many other children and families is too lengthy to list here, but I am quite sure most of the people involved in this gargantuan effort are, like many of us, not native to this area. Nevertheless, when the season of sharing is upon us, caring people reach out to help thousands of their neighbors in need. When one considers the diverse roots that help to form our community, that so many come together to create such a community of caring is all the more impressive.
An ancient African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." Our community fed and nurtured thousands of children this holiday season.
Feels good, doesn't it?
President & CEO
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida