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Monday, November 30, 2009

“If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

Or maybe two or three. The quote above is from the venerable Mother Teresa, who knew a thing or two about feeding hungry people.The good news is, we all know something about feeding hungry people and we also know there are more hungry people in our country, in our neighborhood, than there were even a year or two ago. Doesn't take much to help, does it? Some cans of soup, some pasta and sauce, mac and cheese, pancake mix - I figure that much right there will run you $10.00. Throw in some packages of toilet tissue, toothpaste, some household cleaners, and you're at, what, $20.00? $25.00? You've just fed a person, maybe two or three.

My good buddies in Readers' Services are making it extra-easy for you to feed some people this winter. Read about their food collection, going on now through December 7, 2009. Drop it off here while you check out your DVDs and cozy holiday novels, they'll do the heavy lifting and moving. I plan on picking up some bags of food to donate - how about you? I know we're in a collective, societal funk over the recession right now, but surely we can snap out of it long enough to feed someone. The food collection here at DPPL will benefit our local Self-Help Pantry and Closet - so your good works will help an individual or family close to home, and if that doesn't cheer you a bit I don't know what will.

Also - are you an occasional delinquent when it comes to returning library items? We'll have good news for you early in 2010, when we kick off our first-ever "Food For Fines" event. For a few weeks, we'll erase some of your overdue fines in exchange for food donations. Watch our DPPL home page and PlainTalk for more details.

If you're really charged with the holiday spirit and feel blessed to have financial comfort, why not contact the Self-Help Closet and Pantry directly to see what other assistance you can provide? Call 847-375-1443 or visit their Web site.

One last thought, again from Mother Teresa: "There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much." Donating food this season will alleviate both of those hungers, for ordinary bread and for extraordinary kindness, at least for one person. Maybe more. Do what you can.


  1. One of my favorite projects for the holidays is to bring in goodies for the food pantry. We have so much that it makes me feel guilty when I think of those who are struggling just to put food on the table. I like to throw in some fun holiday stuff too - like oreos with red and green filling, or special holiday crackers instead of the old standards - Ritz and saltines. Just a few extra dollars spent on each shopping trip between now and New Years can make a big difference to the food pantry and little difference in my wallet.

  2. The blogs often have a "Christian" slant. This does not seem appropiate for a public institution. The blog should be a public forum, not one to spout personal beliefs. What do you think?

  3. Dear Anonymous #2 - this blog is very much a place to share public opinion and public opinion includes personal beliefs. While I am offended by your choice of the verb "spouting," I wish you well. I presume that you mean that some quotes from humanitarian Mother Teresa are what offend you as "Christian." I don't believe caring for the poor is an exclusively Christian belief, and Mother Teresa didn't ask people what they believed before caring for them. Our Web site, our blogs, our library collections and programs put the spotlight on all types of belief systems and even give voice to those who choose not to believe. It's a season of love and reflection and I chose, in this one post, the words I thought most appropriate. If you feel caring for hungry people is a "religious" pursuit, I guess I understand why the post makes you uncomfortable. Blogging is all about sharing from heart, mind and soul - it's not about marketing, spin doctoring or giving things a nice corporate sheen. In the end, we are all human beings. I wish you peace and the right to choose what you believe, including non-belief.

  4. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the mail I get at this season of the year. Sure, I get plenty of Christmas cards. But I also get so many catalogs that my mailbox bulges. Then too there are all the letters requesting a few dollars or more for all the good causes, for protecting the environment, for curing terrible diseases, for helping animal shelters, and improving the lot of the poor and disadvantaged. I cannot buy everything in all the catalogs and I cannot give money to all the great causes (but I do say a prayer as I rip up [or recycle] so many of requests for contributions). Christians don’t have a monopoly on December but Christians (and I’m one of them) have a tradition of being more generous at this time of the year and, furthermore, their scriptures command them to be generous. Now this too is a little preachy, but the world needs generous, kind people. I’m with you, Karen. It doesn’t hurt me to give some extra soup, fancy cookies, pet food, packaged and canned foods to our self-help pantry. ~ Maggie K


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