Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making the Holiday Season Full

Last month, I talked about my family's Polish Christmas customs, and what a huge part of my identity this is. I cannot imagine a Christmas without these traditions.  But for so many, Christmas is yet another day full of hunger.  So many Americans have difficulty having any type of holiday meal, let alone one that honors their cultural history.

Grab button for Tote4Pgh Holiday Tote Projects

Over the last couple of years, I have gotten to know some amazing folks, thanks to social media, who run a project called The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project.  The goal is to collect reusable bags to help individuals visiting food pantries to safely, efficiently transport food.  We all know how flimsy plastic and paper bags can be (not to mention the scourge plastic bags are on the environment); imagine trying to carry those flimsy bags across several city blocks, or taking them on public transportation.  Tote bags are collected and distributed to food banks.


In addition, The Pittsburgh Tote Bag project helps raise awareness about various needs of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food bank, about hunger, and about recycling.  In short, this group does a whole lot of good.  As part of their 2012 Holiday Project, they decided to specifically raise awareness about the culturally diverse impact of hunger.  Imagine not having your favorite food, a long standing family tradition, as part of your holiday meal.  The 2012 Holiday Project suggested that people donate ethnic food items, along with a reusable tote bag.


I talked a lot about this last month, and encouraged my readers to donate.  Now, I put my money where my mouth is.  Tonight, I am attending an event where folks from the Pittsburgh social media set will gather together to celebrate the holidays.  We are using the opportunity to also donate tote bags and food items.  The food items I chose to donate are Hispanic food items, including rice, several types of beans, chicken stock, corn meal, coconut milk, tomato sauce, and peppers.  As I shopped, I could not help but think about the people who would receive these items.  I can only hope that this donation will help to honor and bless them as much as being a part of this project has blessed me.

Please consider donating to your local foodbank this holiday season, and take some time to check out The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. They are just good people.