A column by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Unfortunately, the good company and delicious food we enjoy on Thanksgiving Day is not experienced by everyone. Often, we take our blessings for granted.
It’s easy to get caught up in holiday department store sales and television specials. But, if we are truly thankful for all our blessings, we will not be fulfilled by the celebration of this day unless we share with our families, friends and reach out to those in need.
I am asking for your help. Together, we can pitch in and turn a bad situation into a good one. It is our calling to help our neighbors and to reach out to our fellow West Virginians by dipping into our own resources and sharing what we have — especially our time. It will demonstrate exactly what it means by the words, “it is better to give than to receive.”
Yesterday, I donated a basket of goods to the “Holz Gives Back” annual food drive at Holz Elementary in Charleston, West Virginia. A troubling fact is that some days, a child’s only meal is a school lunch. This drive helps to meet their needs. It truly warmed my heart to be with these young children at Holz Elementary, who care so much about their peers. Each of the students I met told me why they are giving back and why they are thankful. Nearly all of them said that sharing their blessings with the less fortunate made them realize the true nature of the holiday season – making a difference in the lives of others. We are incredibly blessed to have such gracious children, who provide a shining example to all West Virginians not only this time of year, but for all seasons.
As the students of Holz Elementary have demonstrated, you can also do your part to help those in need, such as supporting food pantries by donating non-perishable items. There are many nursing homes where you can spend quality time with our beloved seniors. You can extend an invitation to a neighbor who might be alone this holiday season, to have dinner with your family. Remember, the smallest of contributions can make a world of difference.
West Virginia is world renowned for its tradition of neighbors helping neighbors. We share with a generous spirit when we work together. The result is that positive things happen when we give to others. Only then will the true promise of Thanksgiving be realized.