The turkeys are cooking and we’re ready for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal. In a moment of calm before the next storm, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to say thank you.
If I think about last Thanksgiving, and this one, I can hardly believe all of the change and upheaval we’ve experienced. I could chart the past twelve months at Morningstar Relief Mission on a graph, but it might be easier, and more accurate, to just sketch the outline of a roller coaster.
Back in February, when we celebrated the raising of an incredible $37,000 from the Coldest Night of the Year Event—definitely a high—we had no idea that in just a few weeks time we would have to close the Warming Centre prematurely and shutter our community meal program. That was definitely a low.
COVID-19 turned everything on its head. Long-time volunteers had to step away due to the health risks, but others came in and filled the void. We’ve gone from 250 meals per week, locally, to nearly 1,300 countywide. Last September it took 700 volunteer hours to keep us going; this September it took nearly 1,000 hours to make our Mobile Community Meal Program possible.
Throughout this season of challenge I have been comforted by the knowledge that God never asks us to solve big problems by ourselves; only to use the gifts we have been given to love our neighbours as ourselves.
That’s the spirit I have always seen at work at Morningstar. Every day I am blessed to work alongside so many volunteers who show love, in small but meaningful ways, for those in need: a car to deliver meals, a steady hand to peel potatoes, a warm smile for a newcomer who has bravely approached our hospitality table to ask for a meal. We must never forget, as a community, how hard that is for people to do.
Unfortunately this roller coaster ride doesn’t feel like it’s going to end any time soon. Saying “Thank you” for all that you, and our whole family of volunteers, have done doesn’t seem like enough. But it will have to do for now.
No matter how difficult things get, I have faith that because of people like you Morningstar will continue to carry the load—that it will never be too much for any one of us to bear—and we’ll continue to respond to this crisis with grace and compassion.
Wishing you and yours a peaceful, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving,
Morningstar Relief Mission