Thanksgiving – a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Abraham Lincoln began the tradition of an annual national Thanksgiving in 1863. Thanksgiving is an enduring symbol from which millions of immigrants have learned “Americanism.” While not all Native Peoples celebrate the day, the story of the Pilgrims and the generosity of the Wampanoag sharing their harvest remains an inspiration to many.
The spirit of giving back
The holidays usually help to remind us to be thankful for all that we have and all those we love. There really is no better way to give thanks than to reach out and help those in need.
Want to continue the spirit of giving back this Thanksgiving? Here are some resources for those that wish to help:
Food Outreach Program at Community Presbyterian Church. 1555 Poli St in Ventura, (805) 648-2737, www.cpcventura.org. Each Thursday volunteers help pack bags of food for those in need 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Thanksgiving week they do this on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 27, 2013.
Meals on Wheels. Westlake Village, Agoura, and Oak Park: (805) 496-2009
The American Cancer Society is seeking local volunteers to drive patients to and from their treatments. Driver’s license, car insurance, and clean driving are required. Call (800) ACS-2345. Or, in Moorpark (805) 529-2530; in Simi Valley (805) 527-2375; in Thousand Oaks (805) 497-0114 (opt 3).
Hospice Programs.Throughout Ventura County there are several hospice programs that provide volunteers to comfort the terminally ill and their families:
Assisted Home (all throughout Ventura and LA County): (805) 677-7405
Camarillo Hospice: (805) 389-6870 ext 18
Hospice of the Conejo: (805) 495-2145
Kaiser Permanente Hospice: (818) 832-7295
Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association: (805) 642-0239
ProCare: (805) 983-4708
TLC Home Hospice: (805) 517-1620
Literacy Programs. There are many kids, teens, and adults in Ventura County who have trouble reading. Training is provided, and literacy program sites are open all over the county.
Ventura County Library: (805) 641-448
Project Understanding (kids in Oxnard and Ventura): (805) 652-1326
Santa Paula Library: (805) 525-2384
Boys and Girls Club of Simi Valley: (805) 527-4437
Conejo Valley Adult School: (805) 374-1161
Laubach Literacy of Ventura County: (805) 385-9584