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Paying it forward for life.

End of October means falling leaves, pretty colors, raking leaves, cooler temperatures and more falling leaves. I can feel the change in temperature affect my body already. Not my favorite thing but not too much I can do about it. The colors are pretty. I will focus on that.

October also means Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Emotional Wellness Month, Global Diversity Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and National Pop Corn Poppin’ Month. Yes, really. Important stuff. All of it. I have found the more I focus on the important stuff the more important stuff there is. Popcorn…. Pretty important stuff.
In the midst of all of the awareness we, as a society, need to have we also need to focus on the “other stuff” too. Things that aren’t life changing or difficult to sometimes talk about. Made the right way in the right company, I have found popcorn can, in fact,  be life changing.

I like awareness months. I like to discover what months are dedicated to what things. October also is Tackling Hunger Month, something that has always been near and dear to my heart. I have found it hard to understand how some people in this country can’t eat because they don’t have the means to. We take so much for granted, it often makes me stop to think and often find myself sad because of it. We eat what we want, when we want. We don’t often think of those who would give anything for an 80 cent can of tomato soup. I have collected food for food banks on many occasions, understanding after a long conversation with a woman who runs one, how much they rely on those of us who can walk through the grocery store at will. Who can pick up that 80 cent can of soup and give it to someone who hasn’t eaten today without causing her own family to go hungry. What if we all bought one extra can next grocery store trip? Could we imagine how many families we could help… Why don’t we? It could be as life-changing as popcorn.

As I walked into the Coatesville Food Co-op two years ago, I saw empty shelves. I heard the stories of those who rely on them to eat. I walked out with a hole in my gut that was so much stronger than hunger. I felt the need to do something. We ran a food drive at our old facility and it felt good to make the trip with a full truck of food to drop off. They were ecstatic. There were families who would now eat that night. I drove away feeling that hole fill up.

I still feel the desire to do that all over again. And it doesn’t take any special time of year or any special awareness month to collect food for people who need it. It just so happens that the school is running a can drive this week. I am on my way out to the store right now to do my part. I feel strongly about always giving when I can. How about you? That next trip to the store is as good as any to grab an extra can to give away. Just another step toward paying it forward… for life.

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