Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. From its origins in Plymouth to its modern-day incarnation, Thanksgiving has always been a celebration of family and community. It gives us perspective, reminding us of what’s really important at the end of the day. But it’s also a reminder that there are many families and individuals who don’t have it so good. And in this regard, it’s a holiday that brings out the best in Americans. Not only does it offer us a chance to share some quality time with our own families, but those who have the means can reach out to help the less fortunate as well.
Though the economy is showing forward momentum, a lot of that “good news” is still just meaningless data for the people who wonder where their Thanksgiving dinner will come from. For those who are in a position to help out, there will be a “turkey drive” Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Publix supermarket (1180 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., Royal Palm Beach). A joint effort by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, WRMF 97.9 FM, Blue Bell Ice Cream and County Ice, it will feature WRMF personalities collecting donations of frozen turkeys and/or monetary contributions for the 2012 Unified Local Food Drive. Call (561) 688-3080 for more information.
While needy families deserve the community’s support on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, marking the start of the holiday shopping season. It is a time when we need to be mindful of another important part of our community — local businesses. This should be the time of year local retailers see a boost in sales. But with online shopping becoming ever more convenient and a continued influx of national chain stores opening in the western communities, locally owned businesses have a greater challenge to attract customers. Granted, some products just aren’t available at mom-and-pop stores, making a trip to the mall or a big box store unavoidable.
But convenience has its consequences. The concept of “shop locally” isn’t just a nice gesture of support to consider for the holidays; it’s something we should practice year-round as much as possible. Small businesses are crucial to the local economy, not only for their own survival but also for the scores of people they employ. Take a good look around, and you will see that the western communities have a pretty diverse selection of companies owned by local people.
If you’re looking for a local business that offers a particular product or service, we recommend searching the online member directories of the Wellington and Central Palm Beach County chambers of commerce (www.wellingtonchamber.com and www.cpbchamber.com). Of course, businesses of all types can be found advertising in the pages of this newspaper.
From the Town-Crier family to your family, have a happy Thanksgiving!