Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thanksgiving is coming up soon … I LOVE Thanksgiving! I always remember loving Thanksgiving, and not just because my birthday always falls on or around the 4th Thursday in November. I love that Thanksgiving is about three of my favorite things – food, my family, and organized team sports. There’s no big drama around gifts or parties or fancy outfits or spending money (well, except the money we spend on the feast!) Maybe I would feel less relaxed about it all if I was the one in charge of orchestrating said feast, but since I remain just a sous chef in the dinner prep, it’s pretty much just fun for me.
Much to my dismay, Thanksgiving is not observed in Haiti. But since LCS is undeniably a bi-national organization, it IS observed here. We still have school, but in the afternoon there’s a big American football game that the staff play and the kids all watch. And for dinner, we have a feast. Everyone prepares their favorite dish, and we eat our faces off (or so I’m told!) Since my birthday falls exactly on the big day this year, I’m especially looking forward to sharing my own birthday festivities with this Caribbean flavored thanksgiving.
The Haitian Project (the US nonprofit that operates Louverture Cleary School) has an annual activity called the “Reverse Harvest” to encourage US Americans to use Thanksgiving as an opportunity not only to express our gratitude for the many blessings we share, but also to participate in an act of solidarity with those around the world who have so much less. The idea is to spend the day on November 20th fasting, in whatever way is appropriate for you, and in prayerful reflection on the important connection between ourselves and the billions in the world who will not have enough to eat at all on November 20th. Either before the day, or at the end of it, you can then decide on an amount of money that you did NOT spend on food that day, and make a contribution to an organization working to improve the chances of those who are hungry in the world. Obviously I hope you would choose to contribute to Louverture Cleary School, but honestly, if there’s some other organization that’s important to you, make a donation to that organization. Really, we’re all on the same team here.
A few facts about LCS …
It costs 7 dollars a day to feed and educate a student at LCS.
Nothing is wasted here – we get our rice, pasta, sugar, and cleaning supplies donated by Haitian businesses and international aid organizations. Every dollar goes a long way here.
Not only does LCS feed 350 children three healthy meals each day, we continue to feed about 40 children from the neighborhood lunch each day as well.
If you want to participate in the reverse harvest, send an e-mail to email@example.com to sign up officially. The Haitian Project will send you some readings and reflections as well as ideas about how you might spend the day. Or, just do it on your own. If you are willing and able to make a contribution, you can do it online, but there’s a small fee on the credit card transaction, so it’s actually better to write a check and mail it directly to: The Haitian Project, P.O. Box 6891, Providence, RI 02940
Thank you! I’ll be thinking of all of you – and be thankful for all of you - on my birthday!