Gifts are a funny thing, ya know. Many people see gifts as something given to them, wrapped up in pretty paper and topped with a bow. Sometimes people see a gift as having received money or charity or something they need but couldn't otherwise afford. Ask me? I'd say those are more like.... well, presents.
I'd like to take a moment and share the gifts that For 3 Sisters received this past Thanksgiving.
Earlier this month, I was made aware that several of our Road to Resources participants didn't have the means to have a Thanksgiving dinner this year. Whether it was financial means or even the means to muster the energy (while in treatment) to cook, it just wasn't happening. And so, For 3 Sisters set out to provide Thanksgiving meals to four families!
Our adventure started Thursday evening before Thanksgiving! I picked up two of our volunteers, Jennifer and Justin, and we fought the pre-holiday traffic to pick up dinners from Boston Market and Mission BBQ in Rockville.
Then off to deliver to the first two families!
Our first stop was to visit Gemena and her daughter, Giana! They enjoyed a Mission BBQ Thanksgiving which included a smoked turkey, and ton of fixin's. I've been told that Mission's Mac & Cheese "is life!".
Leaving the fun and shenanigans behind (Gemena and Justin are quite the hoot when they're together), we were off to deliver a Boston Market Thanksgiving to Roz and Sarah! They enjoyed a turkey with the more traditional fixin's!
After a good night's sleep, and no pressure to cook in the morning (thanks Travis & Rachel), Jamie joined me Thanksgiving morning to deliver the remaining meals to the other two families! It was an adventure - we were in uncharted territory - and we didn't get lost!
First stop was to bring Mission BBQ Thanksgiving to Michelle and her family! We met Michelle's husband and granddaughter (who took this marvelous picture, LOL).
Then off to visit Tomia and her family! It was lovely to see Tomia and her mom again but we also go to meet Tomia's daughter and granddaughter!
So are you wondering about the gifts we received - the ones I mentioned at the beginning of the post? Well you see, the families we delivered meals to think they received a gift. And perhaps to them, it was a gift. But really these families gave us a gift. They gave us the honor of sharing in their life, sharing their families, and allowing us to be a part of a day in which we share everything for which we are most thankful. You can't wrap that up in pretty paper and put a bow on it, but boy oh boy you sure can feel the love. It's special. It's a gift. And we're thankful!
Thanksgiving meals are made possible because you support For 3 Sisters with your donations! YOU made Thanksgiving possible for these four families. Thank you!
Special thanks to Jamie Hamilton, Jennifer McNeal, and Justin Chuckerel for volunteering to deliver meals to these families.
And special thanks to Patty Gee, Kathryn Loftus, Kellee Southern, Janice Chiddoo, and Karin Kane for making special donations to offset the costs for the meals.
And a great big thanks to Todd at Mission BBQ in Rockville, MD for donating a turkey to one of these families! Their food is delicious, so stop in for lunch and give Todd a huge thanks!
Today was my first day back in the office after a much needed week of rest and relaxation. Marshall (The Pink Fireman) and I took our first vacation together last week since we started For 3 Sisters six years ago. One of our dear friends gifted us a week at his family's beach house in the Outer Banks. We stayed in a little beach town called Avon. It was wonderful. Off season - quiet - relaxing - and even still somewhat warm for most of the week.
One day we stopped at a local place called Sonny's Restaurant located in Hatteras Village. Everyone was so friendly! As we ate our lunch, the waitress stopped by our table and commented on our truck. The staff loved it! She visited a moment and shared stories about her connection with cancer and then went off to serve other guests.
About the time we were finishing, our waitress returned and proceeded to crumple up the check in front of us. The owner wouldn't let us pay for lunch. And our waitress, she wouldn't let us leave a tip. She thanked us for our work and insisted that we let her serve us today. And if that wasn't wonderful enough, the owner came to visit with us and supported For 3 Sisters with a very generous donation. The day was surreal. The moment was absolutely beautiful. If you're ever in this neck of the woods, please stop by Sonny's! The food was delicious, the service was impeccable, and the support - they treat ya like family! And ya know how I feel about family!
We also made a special trip to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It was beautiful. It towered above us and it was remarkable to learn the history of how this mammoth 12-story structure served as a beacon of light for ships to navigate safely in the dark through the treacherous shoals of the Outer Banks.
In that moment, Marshall and I renewed our steadfast commitment to For 3 Sisters and to you. We are committed to serving each of you to our fullest capacity. For 3 Sisters, like this lighthouse, will continue to be a beacon of hope to those lost in the dark --- the darkness that is breast cancer. You will never fight breast cancer alone!
Shannon Moneymaker is the Executive Director of F3S and experiences life in the breast cancer community, not through just her own eyes but through the eyes of others.
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