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Remaining thankful and giving back


The McNamara Memo
Your one stop shop for Statehouse news and community info         11.26.2013
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Remaining thankful and giving back
The history of Thanksgiving celebrations has been traced back as far as 1621 when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared their harvests in November. It was in our nation’s first days that we recognized the simple importance of being thankful for what we have and sharing it with others. The importance of family values and civility remained and led to President Lincoln to proclaim a national Thanksgiving Day during the Civil War in 1863.Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of all the history surrounding its celebration, but most importantly, it is about enjoying quality time with my family.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is not the same for every Hoosier, especially those in need of basic amenities. The holiday season can serve as a reminder of the struggles to make ends meet. Thankfully, there are numerous non-profit organizations that strive to make this time of year memorable for every Hoosier and their family. Volunteering your time at a soup kitchen, collecting or giving cans for food drives or even donating money to these organizations can go a long way to brighten someone’s holiday season.

The Mount Vernon Food Pantry and the Tri-State Food Bank are great organizations that are dedicated to serving Hoosiers every day, especially on Thanksgiving. These organizations do a great job of meeting our region’s needs, but they could always use more volunteers willing to donate food, time or money.

The Mt. Vernon Food Pantry serves any resident or transient working within Posey County.  They are a free outreach that provides a 2-3 day emergency supply of food to households in the county. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00a.m. to 12:00p.m., and every Friday from 3:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. To volunteer, contact them at (812) 838­-3841 or by email at myfoodpantry@yahoo.com.

The Tri-State Food Bank has a very unique program running called Weekend Back Pack – Food for Kids. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 39,973 children in the tri-state area live in poverty. Many kids rely on the school lunch program through the week, and do not have adequate food for the weekend. Through this program the Tri-State Food Bank provides over 2,300 kids each week with nutritious meals for the weekend. You can donate food or sponsor a backpack. Call 812­-425­-0775 or visitwww.tristatefoodbank.org for directions.

Another way to help out someone in need is by volunteering or donating to the homeless shelter of Mount Vernon, Inc.  In any given year, approximately 60 families request housing at the shelter, and the waiting list is continuing to grow. Some items you can donate are pillows, dishes, bed linens and towels. Call Phyllis Alspaugh at (812) 204­-2762 for drop off instructions.

I encourage everyone to find a way to spend a little time helping those in need this holiday season. Even the smallest of gestures can go a long way to make a significant difference in someone else’s life. Enjoy spending quality time with friends and family this holiday season, this is truly what makes this time of year so special.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Wendy, and your family.

    We are very thankful for the wonderful job in your representation in Indianapolis for our community and region.

    We are very lucky to have you as one of our great delegation from Southern Indiana

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