To give thanks is easy. We can all identify something we are grateful for, whether big or small, familial or materialistic. Thanksgiving, I suppose, reminds us all that we must take pause and reflect on what’s important to us. Unfortunately, this is only a yearly reminder, usually overshadowed by our gluttonous tendencies at the dinner table. And somewhere between coordinating a feast, the converging of friends and families, and counting down the hours to Black Friday deals at Walmart, the meaning and intent of Thanksgiving gets lost in translation. If I can digress for a moment, perhaps the holiday is a farce anyway, simply creating an historical picture of friendly relations between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. However, over time, Thanksgiving did come to represent “thankfulness.”
But what about “giving?” Where does that come in?
…But not altogether lost. Case in point: Feast for Southeast, the now annual Thanksgiving event that aims to feed as many low-income Portlanders as possible at Mt. Scott Community Center. After its initial success in 2010, where Rob Selva planned and organized the feeding of over 200 people in a communal and festive atmosphere, Feast for Southeast has forged ahead with plans to feed 400 people this year. With his team of volunteers, as well as support from neighborhood associations and community sponsors, Rob has created an opportunity for people to “give” and be “thankful.”
Whether you’re in need of a hot meal, or simply want to give back to the community, Feast for Southeast has opened its doors to all. Volunteers are needed prior to the event, too, and such an offering would be just as valuable, if not more, than helping on Thanksgiving Day. If you are available this Sunday, November 20, Feast for Southeast organizers are canvassing FoPo to solicit more help, as well as to get the word out for those that could either benefit from a free meal or make a contribution toward the event. If you’re interested, other canvassers will be meeting at the Subway on Foster and SE 52nd at 12:30 pm. Or, for other ways that you can help or follow Rob’s and the community’s efforts, you can visit their website (www.feast4southeast.com), or find them on facebook or twitter.