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The Banquet in Sioux Falls does it Right

Serving Food

  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Sioux Falls food kitchen, the Banquet,  received  $8,400 on Thanksgiving morning. Over 800 people showed up at 8 am, to take a morning stroll, run, or bike ride.  A donation of $10 was asked. The money came from pockets and purses, not corporate sponsors. .This simple event has been going on since 2004.

There is no registration form to fill out. You don’t receive a special t-shirt, bracelet, or hat. There is no grand prize trip to anywhere for the most money raised. There are no long winded speeches about the charity, no celebrity participants. It is simple. Which is why I like it, and apparently so do a lot of folks.

For the record, I like to walk. I like to give to charities doing “God’s work.” I don’t like the hoopla associated with the “BIG” events. Bands, cheerleaders, registration forms to fill out, challenges to raise the most money, and prizes.

All of us could get up on Thanksgiving morning and take a long stroll through the neighborhood. Most of us don’t. Moving around early gets our blood pumping and eases some of the guilt of stuffing our faces later in the day.

The Banquet’s Run for Food, does several important things.  We rise early, go outdoors, move our bodies at a rate of speed comfortable to us. We have time to talk with family or friends if we are walking. If we are running or biking, there is time to reflect on our life and where we fit in. Are we a part of societal solutions, part of the problem, or merely in the stands disinterested in the game of life?

When this event is over, I feel good. Walking in the morning is good for the heart and soul. Donating to a charity which assists in feeding the hungry is also good for the heart and soul.(There but for the grace of god, go I )

The Thanksgiving theme plays a role also. I am thankful to live in a community which doesn’t bury it’s head in the sand when it comes to the poor. I am thankful to be of good health so I can “run for food,.”  contributing a my own small way.

The good feelings I get from the physical walk lasts all day. The Thankful feelings generated from being a part of the community solution to a national problem lasts much longer.

The Banquet is always looking for individuals and groups to prepare, serve, and clean up after the meals. Their phone number is:  605-335-7066.  Consider the time spent an investment in the community and your soul.

Hope you will join me and the other 800 or so, regular folks, next Thanksgiving morning to quietly but effectively do good things. Don’t expect prizes, a standing ovation, or any other form of recognition.  Like the folks receiving the food at the Banquet each week, be thankful you can participate.

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