Thanksgiving takes on a lot of different meanings for different folks this year.
First, we give thanks we are not living in Ferguson, Missouri, where rioting, looting and burning have replaced basic reason, understanding of legal rights and forgiveness.
Tragically, many of those causing the chaos and destroying that town and its reputation forever do not even reside there and were incited by the media.
Indeed, we are thankful to be living in a quiet South Texas community that looks after and takes care of its own.
Some examples: Mary Perales lost her home, a travel trailer on East U.S. Highway 59, that burned on Nov. 17. Yet a friend has offered her a place to stay and a stranger offered her use of a trailer house.
The Red Cross has helped with vouchers for food and clothing for her and a child she is trying to adopt. Friends have donated clothing for Lorenzo, who wears a size 5 Toddler, but more is still needed. An account has been set up online at www.gofundme.com/hl2hlo.
However, she counts her blessings of friends and family. “I am one of the lucky ones, regardless of what I lost,” she says.
Secondly, Pettus held its Thanksgiving Dinner last Wednesday. A savory meal of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings was served to 300 PISD students and nearly 200 community members.
“Pettus ISD is one of the last cafeterias in our area that cooks from scratch. We do it all,” explains PISD Food Service Director Mario Monjaras.
He and his staff of five began planning for the Thanksgiving dinner in October. The dinner proceeded without a hitch, Monjares says, thanks to coordinated teamwork of his crew, including school nurse Kay Mix. “It was an assembly line,” he says.
Also, the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, held on Nov. 18, received an unprecedented amount of support from neighbors and friends.
Two local nonprofit organizations were among the 35 in the area which benefited from this outpouring of generosity.
The Beeville Vineyard (which assists the city’s needy) received $42,999.40, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Beeville, which includes the clubs of Refugio and Taft, received a total of $10,640.29, which will be split between the three accordingly.
“Thank you to our generous community for making this a truly incredible day,” said Karen Selim, president and CEO of the Coastal Bend Community Foundation.
Again, we are proud and fortunate to reside in a caring community. Happy Thanksgiving!