A Generous Holiday: he holidays are the time of year when we tend to let ourselves indulge. We put our diets on hold until the New Year, eat far too much rich food, and drink more than we should at the office Christmas party. Every year we tell ourselves that we’ll buy fewer gifts for the kids, but, inevitably, we end up spending more than we should and give them more than they need. This year, as the season of excess approaches and we start making plans for all of those How Giving To Others Can Make For a Brighter Holiday Season For All T By Tracy Baker out of the Northern Virginia region. That said, there are still plenty among our immediate neighbors who are going to be less concerned about spending too much on gifts, and more concerned about how they are going to get food on the table — any food, not just the lavish spreads that we associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas. More than half of American families will participate in some kind of holiday giving this year, and there are any number of options for where and how Local Food Banks Fauquier Community Food Bank and Thrift Store Serving residents of Fauquier County. Website: www. fauquierfoodbank.org. Email: fauquiercommunityfoodbank@ comcast.net. Phone: 540-359-6053. Serves more than 800 clients per month by providing one to two weeks’ worth of food and bread daily. At Thanksgiving, 650 families receive a turkey and all the fixings in addition to their monthly allocation. Thrift Store donations also go to support food distribution efforts. Fauquier FISH (For Immediate and Sympathetic Help) Serving residents of Fauquier County. Website: www. fauquierfish.com. Phone: 540-347-3474. Serves 20 families per week by appointment and provides a weeks’ worth of both perishable and non-perishable food once per month. At Christmas, FISH provides holiday dinner baskets with ham or turkey, side dishes and a dessert for 100-200 families. Culpeper Food Closet Serving residents of the Town of Culpeper and Culpeper County. Website: www. culpeperfoodcloset.net. Email: culpeperfoodcloset@gmail. com. Phone: 540-825-1177. Provides supplemental food for around 100 families per week that are pre-approved by Culpeper Human Services. At Thanksgiving, 400-600 families are provided with a complete dinner including a turkey or roast chicken, sides and dessert. ACTS Prince William County (Action in Community Through Service) Serving Eastern Prince William County. Website: www.actspwc.org. Email: actsinfo@actspwc.org. Phone: 703-441-8606. Between 700-1,000 clients receive two weeks’ worth of food, once a month. During November, ‘Operation Turkey’ provides typical canned and boxed food to complete a Thanksgiving meal for as many as 1,500 families. Haymarket Food Pantry Serving Haymarket and surrounding areas. Website: www.haymarketfoodpantry.org. Email: donate@haymarketfoodpantry.org. Phone: 703-7545990. Provides supplemental food once per week for around 500 families. During the holidays, families receive their holiday meal including the turkey, sides, and a dessert. Northern VA Family Services - Manassas SERVE campus Serving Western Prince William County. Website: www.nvfs.org. Phone: 571-748-2600. Provides supplemental food for over 300 families per month, in addition to 3 meals a day for the 92 people in their emergency shelter and over 300 children in their Head Start and Early Head Start child development center. ‘Operation Turkey’ provides Thanksgiving dinners. Madison organizes food on shelves at Fauquier FISH. food-oriented family gatherings, let’s take the time to give thanks, and then consider taking the time to give back. Our state is blessed with a relatively high average income compared to the rest of the country. In fact, according to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission’s yearly findings, Virginia boasts the eighth-highest per capita personal income in the country, a statistic that is due, in large part, to the great wealth coming they will do so. Giving back does not have to mean signing your family up to work in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving day. Helping out another family in need can be as simple as cleaning out and donating items from your pantry before your holiday guests arrive, or adding a couple extra non-perishable items to your cart during your weekly grocery trip. It can be as involved as volunteering your time regularly at one of our local food banks, sorting donations 8 Piedmont Family Magazine 2013 • Issue 6