Commentary: Reader gives back for the holidays

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To the editor:

It started with a conversation among friends about taking care of those less fortunate. We always did things to help, but now it was time to take a step further, really dig in and take care of what was right under our very noses….those within our own community.

We thought it would be easy and we would just do this, but it turned out that it was not so easy after all. How do we get the word out? Where do the people live? How does one talk to them to let them know we want to help? These people are very private and protective and why not, after what some people have said about them in the past. They are human beings and should be treated as such. So, shame on those of you who snub them and think you are so much better… You’re not, you may be more fortunate then they are, but keep in mind that things we take for granted, lights, heat, food, a warm bed to sleep in every night, a hot shower and a bathroom to take it in, a car and so much more….you could loose those in a heartbeat so think about that when you put your head on your pillow to call it a night. Enough about those of you who just don’t get it, now back to my story.

We decided to work with Bread for Life and try to put something together for a dinner. With their help they contacted our less fortunate in the community and extend our dinner invitation to them. It was slow at first but then people started to reconsider and before you knew it we had dinner guests and had made new friends.

The American Legion Family Post 72 in Southington worked together and it went from a holiday dinner to even more. We turned our hall into a restaurant with linens, china and silverware, decorated for Christmas with wreaths and Christmas trees and went from there. They were served a complete hot home cooked meal from an appetizer to desserts and it was served family style by our members. After dinner they were entertained with a movie, popcorn and we even had conversation and laughed together.

As the night came to a close they were grateful and very gracious and we were showered with a thank you, hand shakes and even hugs. What they did not know is that there was more…..they were given a gift bag filled with things they would need to help to keep them warm on cold nights and a shopping bag filled with a complete holiday dinner for two so they would have something to eat.

My heart melted and my eyes began to tear when one of our guests cried and asked that God bless us for what we did.

So when you see someone in need, please open your hearts and reach out to help. For those of you who have not tried it yet, I highly recommend it and I guarantee you will feel something very special inside your heart that will stay with you for a long time.

I would like to thank Bread for Life, Target, Aqua Turf and everyone that donated to this wonderful cause. But most of all I would like to thank my American Legion Family, Post 72 for all their hard work and donations and for making a conversation become a reality.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year,

Barbara Pasha

American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 72

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