Thanksgiving turkeys and the Silly Season

Published 8:46 pm Monday, November 24, 2014

The best thing about the time of year we’re in is how it inspires charitable acts.

Saturday was a good example, a day when many Suffolk citizens received a little help to make it a happy, well-fed Thanksgiving.

Though it was the event’s 11th year, and I’ve been on the News-Herald for three of them, I had never before experienced the turkey giveaway at LW’s Lawn Service.

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The business headquarters on East Pinner Street was unlike I’d ever seen it, and I drive that street — a convenient little shortcut when heading out of downtown on Portsmouth Boulevard — at least once a day.

From previous coverage in our newspaper and Suffolk Living Magazine, as well as reports from folks familiar with it, I thought I knew a little of what to expect.

But I wasn’t expecting quite the level of organization on show — golf carts ferrying people from (relatively) distant parking lots; hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill; assembly lines of volunteers.

Most of all, I wasn’t expecting the sheer volume of people, and all of them leaving with the nucleus of a great Thanksgiving dinner.

The Salvation Army building in Bank Street was another happy place. A Windsor couple was the driving force behind that event, and dozens of volunteers from several churches provided an early Thanksgiving dinner.

But it wasn’t just about the food. The open-door event in the gymnasium included games earning visitors plastic currency, which they were later able to exchange for gifts.

Willing 2 Share, a nonprofit started by Alan Reynolds and Kathleen Mitchell-Reynolds, had provided a roomful of gifts.

Also on Saturday, Impact Suffolk held its 16th annual food giveaway, at Lake Meade Park. More than 900 families received turkeys and other food items for the dinner table come Thursday.

Then there was Little Bethel Baptist Church in Chuckatuck, which gave three large families everything they need for Thanksgiving dinner.

My personal knowledge of Saturday’s Thanksgiving beneficence is thus exhausted. I’m certain it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But I will add something here on a less positive note. In my native land, the holiday period we’ve entered is frequently called the Silly Season.

Many folks temporarily lose any sense they might have had as they careen around buying things — it’s often retail-related — or they come face-to-face with family members they can usually manage to avoid, and sad things happen.

Be safe out there.